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28th Mar 2024

Why is everyone talking about the viral Temu ‘free money’ game?

Sophie Collins

temu money

If you’ve been scrolling through TikTok in recent days, then you’ve probably heard about the TEMU ‘free money’ game

Influencers and other well-known figures on the app are beginning to raise eyebrows around the hidden risks associated with this free cash scheme on Temu.

The Chinese-owned online marketplace is running a promotion offering users awards in exchange for new sign-ups. 

However, experts have are now speaking out to warn users that they could be unknowingly risking their personal data. 

Gambling site, CSGOLuck, analysed Google Trends search data following the ‘free money’ game going viral across all social media platforms.

It found that global searches for ‘Temu money’ have surged by a staggering 450% over the last 90 days.

It’s understandable that anyone looking for ways to make money online quickly, would be interested in a seemingly harmless strategy to get more people using the Temu app.

The promotion is activated by downloading the Temu app and sharing an “invitation code” with your friends, family, and followers to earn a combination of gift vouchers and money – which is directly dispensed into your PayPal account.  

Is it safe? 

According to the experts at CSGOLuck: “It’s important when signing up and participating in online promotions to know what exactly the terms are and what your data will be used for. 

“The ‘Cash Reward’ promotion’s T&C’s state that the user agrees to give Temu permission to use their “photo, name, likeness, voice, opinions, statements, biographical information, and/or hometown and state’ worldwide…without further review, notification, payment, or consideration.”

They went on to say that this could pose as a significant risk to shoppers who are unaware that they are signing up. Users may also be unaware about how much of their personal data they’re handing over, and what is ultimately being done with this information.

“The users’ data can also be shared with third parties that are in-line with Temu’s Privacy Policy, which under certain applicable laws may be seen as ‘selling’ your data. It’s very hard to pinpoint how exactly your data will be used when signing up.” 

Temu told on March 28th:

“Some participants in our recent Cash Reward campaign have expressed concern about the promotion’s terms and conditions (T&Cs). To reassure our customers, we have tweaked the T&Cs to make it clear that we only ever use username and profile pictures in this promotion for referral functionality and winner announcements.”

“The previous terms and conditions were overly broad and inadvertently included promotional uses that Temu does not engage in. Customer trust and satisfaction is at the heart of Temu, and we do not and will not sell customer data.”

How to stay safe   

Stay mindful 

Ensure that you read over the permissions requested by the promotion prior to downloading.   

Only share what you are comfortable sharing

Certain data collection can be optional when first downloading. Ensure that you read through and decline the options you are not 100% sure about sharing. 

If you want to reverse the sharing of your data, you can decline any app access through your phone settings:  

  • For iPhone go to settings > scroll down to apps > tap on app > turn off permissions/tracking. 
  • For Android go to settings > apps & notifications > click on app > tap permissions > turn off permissions/tracking.  

You should also take it upon yourself to thoroughly research the organisation’s legitimacy and carefully review the terms and conditions around data privacy and security.  

Ensure the promotion complies with data protection regulations and that your personal information will be handled securely. 

Check if you’re unsure about any data protection regulations.