Is Temu a Scam? The App is Legit, but There Have Been a Few Customer Complaints

If you were to ask TikToker @pheveyaa, she’d tell you to be cautious when shopping on Temu. Here's why.


Mar. 1 2024, Updated 12:55 p.m. ET

Women discuss how their cards got hacked after shopping on Temu
Source: TikTok/@dimplesqueennini; @pheveyaa; @shyshy011

As a woman in my thirties with three kids, there’s nothing more exciting than to find an app where I can indulge in a little retail therapy and not break the bank. From false lashes to learning puzzles to Barbie accessories I can throw in my kids’ treasure box, Temu offers it all (and I mean all), and for a fraction of the retail price.

Despite the hundreds of positive reviews the app has received, people continue to question whether Temu is a scam.

Article continues below advertisement

After doing some digging, I uncovered a few viral TikTok videos that detail the unfortunate experiences people have had after having shopped on the Temu app.

Between their experiences (I’ll jump into that down below) and my firsthand experience with the app, hopefully, you can decide for yourself whether Temu is an app you should download or one that needs to be immediately deleted from your phone.

Is Temu a scam?

Temu isn't a scam, it's legit. The products you order from it will arrive at your doorstep (unless it gets lost in the mail or another issue arises with your order). I’ve ordered several times from Temu and the only complaint I have as of now is that the item sizes of certain products aren’t accurately depicted in the photos. I thought I was receiving a full-size UV LED nail lamp when in reality, I could only fit one finger under it at a time.

Article continues below advertisement

That aside, I can’t vouch for what Temu does behind the scenes, meaning where it stores your credit card information, and who it shares the information with. But, if you were to ask TikToker @pheveyaa, she’d tell you to be cautious when shopping on Temu.

The social media user says that over the course of two months, she had three pages worth of debits taken out of her bank account, and it all happened after she shopped with Temu. Now, you’re probably wondering why @pheveyaa never noticed the transactions and the answer is pretty simple: the debits came out in small increments, $3 here and $1 there. While she did say she received suspicious activity warnings, she assumed the notifications were a scam.

Article continues below advertisement

It wasn’t until she wasn’t able to use her bank card that @pheveyaa contacted her bank to find out what was going on. After looking into her account, her financial institution informed her about the three pages of debits, all of which occurred out of the country. The moral of the story: @pheveyaa recommends that if you're going to shop on Temu, "don’t put your bank information in the app.”

While @pheveyaa did mention is a response to a commenter that she has "reason to believe this happened through Temu," she adds that "this could have happened from any apps I entered my details into." Therefore, @pheveyaa says just "be safe and use PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.”

Article continues below advertisement

A PR rep for Temu reached out to Distractify acknowledging that “Temu takes data privacy and security very seriously.” The rep also added that “[Temu’s] data collection is standard to the industry.”

Article continues below advertisement

Another TikToker says she had $500 taken out of her bank account after shopping with Temu.

TikToker @shyshy011 uploaded a stitch video featuring @pheveyaa’s video on Aug. 2, 2023, explaining a similar experience she had after shopping with Temu. While Shyla didn’t come out of the gate saying Temu is a scam, she did warn others that it might be.

Shayla says shortly after shopping with Temu, she had $500 wiped out of her account, and it “happened fast.” Similar to @pheveyaa, Shayla says the debits were taken out in increments rather than one large purchase to avoid getting flagged by the bank.

Article continues below advertisement

A few days after Shayla documented what she went through after shopping with Temu, @dimplesqueennini took to the platform to explain why she was deleting the app.

Article continues below advertisement

The TikToker says that about a week after purchasing from Temu, her American Express credit card information was stolen. Ironically, a phone number for the company responsible for making the unauthorized debits was attached to her statement.

Dimples Queen says she thinks the “company” did this so she would be prompted to call and hand over her information. Obviously, she didn’t and instead, contacted American Express directly to get help with her issue.

Article continues below advertisement

While these stories are quite concerning, my advice to anyone who wants to shop with Temu (or continue shopping) would be to use a virtual card created through Zip (formerly known as QuadPay), AfterPay, or any other pay-in-four app that allows this. This way, once the virtual card is created and utilized, it's no longer active. With no active card and no funds, a third party is going to have a hard time stealing your money.

Article continues below advertisement

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are phishing sites out there posing as Temu, all of which you'll want to be aware of. While it isn't hard for scammers to steal a company's logos and replicate their website, it can be to identify them.

According to South China Morning Post, Temu filed a lawsuit in 2023 against "cybersquatters," or scammers who are posing as the PDD Holdings-owned company that are going as far as creating fake apps and websites. Examples include and With that said, it would be a good idea to double check that you have the real Temu app downloaded before ordering or are placing an order from the company's actual website.

More from Distractify

Latest TikTok News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.