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‘Shop like a billionaire’ – but is Temu safe?

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If you’re active on social media or use Google Shopping, you’ve likely encountered ads for Temu.

Temu is a Chinese e-commerce marketplace that boasts incredibly low prices compared to Western equivalents.

Sports shoes for $6?

A computer keyboard for $10?

These eye-catching deals have attracted many Western shoppers seeking to save money in the face of rising inflation, making Temu the most downloaded shopping app worldwide.

However, concerns about the environmental impact, product safety, and the legitimacy of Temu have also arisen.

What Is Temu?

Temu, the Western-branded arm of Chinese online retail giant Pingduoduo, allows shoppers to buy directly from Chinese manufacturers known for their cost-effectiveness.

The platform also offers users opportunities to earn credits for future purchases, either through spin-the-wheel games or by referring others to join the site.

However, not all is rosy, as customer reviews paint a less-than-stellar picture.

Temu holds just a 2.5/5 rating on the US Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, and one-third of Trustpilot reviews give it only one star.

Customers have expressed concerns about spam in their inboxes, difficulties in obtaining refunds, and receiving items in poor condition or not at all.

There are also worries about the potential use of forced labor in Temu’s supply chains.

Data risks

A US government agency has raised concerns about data risks associated with Temu and another Chinese retailer, Shein, echoing previous worries about the data practices of Chinese-owned online services like TikTok.

It’s important to note that these issues do not necessarily brand Temu as a scam site.

Nevertheless, where there are users, fraudsters tend to follow, attempting to deceive unsuspecting consumers through the popular Chinese retailer.

Top 5 Temu Scams

Here are some of the most common scams observed on Temu:

1. Nude Celeb “Leaks”: Scammers lure users into entering their referral code for cash or rewards by posting enticing but fake offers of celebrity nudes accessible via the code. However, there are no actual images, and scammers simply accumulate more referrals.

2. Fortnite/Roblox Benefits: Similar to the previous tactic, scammers claim users can access free Roblox Robux gift cards or rare Fortnite skins by entering a referral code on Temu. These offers are bogus, exploiting users’ curiosity and the platform’s relatively low visibility.

3. Duplicate Products: While Temu itself may not list counterfeit products, there have been reports of duplicate items resembling patented products closely. Unwary shoppers may end up with items that don’t meet their expectations.

4. Celeb Merchandise: Scammers create fake social media posts from celebrities, implying they have partnerships with Temu to promote discounted merchandise. Users are urged to visit the site and enter a referral code, but there is no such deal.

5. 90% Off Scams: Unsolicited emails and website ads promise substantial discounts on a wide range of Temu-listed products. Clicking through leads to phishing sites, where scammers collect payment card information, leaving buyers empty-handed.

By staying vigilant and taking precautions, you can enjoy the special deals and low prices that Temu offers while protecting yourself from potential scams.

Remember, while Temu itself may not be a scam, fraudsters may attempt to exploit it to defraud shoppers.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Bitcoin surges closer to all-time high

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Bitcoin surged to new heights on Monday, inching ever closer to its all-time high as the cryptocurrency market continued its bullish momentum following a weekend pause.

The flagship cryptocurrency recorded a remarkable 7.65% increase, reaching a price of $67,608.30, according to data from Coin Metrics.

Earlier in the day, it peaked at $67,977.77, marking its highest level since November 2021 when it achieved its previous all-time high. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also experienced gains, rising by 3.41% and trading near January 2022 highs at $3,588.83.

Both bitcoin and ether are riding the wave of their best week in almost a year, with bitcoin witnessing a 21% surge and ether climbing by 16%.

However, the weekend saw a temporary halt in their ascent as the market absorbed two days of significant outflows from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which were offset by inflows into other newly launched bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Market dynamics

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto exchange Nexo, noted the influence of these new ETFs on market dynamics, suggesting that major movements are now occurring during regular trading days rather than weekends. He emphasized the potential for explosive price action amidst strong demand from these new spot ETFs.

Although bitcoin currently stands around 3% below its intraday record of $68,982.20, it continues to uplift other crypto tokens, particularly meme coins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin, which surged by 14% and 45% respectively.

Analysts interpret this as a sign of renewed interest from retail investors in the crypto market, as meme tokens’ weekly trade volume recently reached its highest level since late 2021.

Meanwhile, the rally in crypto equities varied, with Coinbase and Microstrategy experiencing gains of 11% and 24% respectively, while miners witnessed a downturn.

Companies such as CleanSpark, Cipher Mining, Iris Energy, Marathon Digital, and Riot Platforms faced declines ranging from 5% to 7% as concerns over the upcoming halving event in April weighed on investor sentiment.

Although some analysts foresee potential short-term corrections due to extreme profit margins, long-term investors remain optimistic.

They anticipate sustained upward momentum driven by increasing demand through new U.S. ETFs and tightening supply post-April halving.

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Taxing times: 64% of Aussies think they pay too much tax

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As the cost of living continues to rise, a staggering 64% of Australians are voicing their concern over the amount of tax they pay annually, according to recent research conducted by Finder, Australia’s leading comparison site.

The survey, which polled 1,004 respondents, found that nearly two-thirds of Australians, equating to approximately 13 million individuals, feel burdened by the tax they contribute each financial year.

Of particular note is the sentiment among millennials, with a striking 80% expressing dissatisfaction with their tax contributions. Following closely behind are Gen Xers, with 72% sharing similar sentiments. Comparatively, Gen Z (63%) and baby boomers (39%) exhibit less discontent with their tax obligations.

Sarah Megginson, a personal finance expert at Finder, highlighted the strain that the cost of living imposes on individuals’ financial situations.

“Budgets are stretched thin, with many struggling to make ends meet,” she noted. “While inflation is trending downwards, the financial burden remains heavy for a significant portion of Australians.”

Tax hope

However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

The Australian government has announced plans to implement tax cuts commencing July 1, aimed at providing relief to taxpayers grappling with the escalating cost of living.

According to Finder’s analysis, Australians earning between $45,000 and $135,000 annually stand to benefit from a further tax cut of $804, in addition to previously announced reductions.

This translates to a substantial increase in disposable income, potentially alleviating financial strain for many households.

For instance, an individual earning the median Australian income of $83,200 could expect a tax cut of $1,759 over 12 months, nearly double the previous $955 reduction.

Meanwhile, those earning over $200,000 annually will receive approximately $4,529 under the new stage 3 tax cuts, compared to $9,075 under the previous scheme.

Money back

Megginson emphasized the significance of this financial injection in easing the burden of everyday expenses.

“Those struggling with everyday costs will see more money back in their pocket to help battle expenses,” she remarked.

“If your budget allows, stashing some of this extra cash is a wise move. Every bit helps build a buffer for those unexpected rainy days.”

Megginson advised individuals to explore avenues for potential savings, such as switching service providers to reduce expenses. For those unable to save, she recommended allocating the extra funds towards paying down debt and bills to alleviate financial pressure.

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Money

Anticipation builds for US jobs data and it’s global impact

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What to expect on. a global scale as investors brace for key U.S. employment figures.

Investors and economists are eagerly awaiting the release of the latest US jobs data, anticipating its potential impact on global market trends.

The numbers are expected to provide crucial insights into the health of the world’s largest economy and may influence investment decisions and market sentiments worldwide.

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