I’ve noticed some publicity in the last week or so for a new website called BeThrifty.ie, which describes itself as “Ireland’s Online Cashback Community”. The site works in a similar way to the rewards website Pigsback.com except that they’ll pay you back cash rather than PiggyPoints.
Last Sunday, Gareth Naughton featured it in a short piece in his Personal Finance column in the Sunday Tribune. According to the article, available here:
The average Irish person spent €1,700 online last year, and that is set to increase as people turn to the internet in search of better bargains. Recently-launched website www.bethrifty.ie offers shoppers the opportunity to buy online and receive cash back on their purchases.
When someone logs into the website and starts shopping with one of the retailers featured (companies include HMV, Qantas and Eircom), they qualify to receive cash back – either a straightforward payment per purchase or a percentage of the money they have spent. The website acts as a referrer but, instead of keeping the commission from the retailer, it is passed on to the consumer.
Then yesterday, Tina Leonard gave the site a glowing reference in her Smart Consumer column in the Irish Independent:
Our current favourite is www.bethrifty.ie.
Launched in April, and already boasting 8,000 members, this is a ‘cash-back’ website like the type popular in the US and UK, where you actually make money.
Basically you become a member, which is free, and then you can link through the site to around 2,000 companies to make online purchases.
For each purchase made you get a cash amount or percentage of the sale price sent to your bank or PayPal account by Bethrifty.
Honestly, there is no catch.
Unfortunately, there is a catch. And quite a big one as far as I’m concerned. In order to get your cash rewards, you have to either provide BeThrifty.ie with your PayPal details, or your bank account details.
However, nowhere on the website do BeThrifty.ie provide any details of who’s behind the website, where they’re based, or how to contact them in person. There are no physical addresses, no phone numbers and no e-mail addresses.
I’d be wary of providing any financial details such as bank accounts to a website that doesn’t provide you with such details.
Consider what position you’d be in if a sum of money went missing from your bank account and you needed to contact them to find out what the problem was?