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How to Spot Paid Online Survey Scams

Online survey scams occur daily when adds promote deals that appear too good to be true. Search engines for keywords may bring users to sites that advertise payment and free gifts for online surveys that seem simple enough. Clicking on these sites will prompt the user for name, address, phone number and email address. Shortly after, mail will begin to appear urging the user to take surveys. Surveys typically last from 5 to 30 minutes and are geared toward consumer tastes, attitudes or opinions. Surveys may be an ideal way to be compensated for a small amount of work, but beware! Sites that use simple language, display dull web pages or neglect to provide privacy policy statements are most likely not reputable survey sites.

Unprofessional Web Pages

The language is simple, uninteresting and not "catchy." Sayings such as "Best deal in town," or "We pay top dollar," are vague and considered to be poor grammar usage. Beware of sites using scantily clad individuals to sell their scheme. They are not used by professionals.

Privacy Policy

A privacy policy lets the user agree or not to the conditions of personal information. It should contain statements about how the information will be used and who will see it. Ratings, comments or filing complaints are options open to members. A contact page will also be on the site. These sites put effort into providing security.

Differences Between Legitimate and Pseudo Online Surveys

Legitimate survey panels will honestly inform people that surveys will not take the place of regular full time employment. Fees are not charged to become a member and purchases are not required. These surveys are run by market research companies and can be contacted by phone or email. They commonly have representatives available to inform, answer questions and help people complete requirements needed for membership. The company will be sure to meet standards set forth by the Better Business Bureau. Credit card information is never required to acquire membership.

A pseudo site is run by marketing companies and information is sold to third parties. Users are asked for credit card information or asked to purchase products. Trial offers mislead consumers to spend money by "tricking" them into paying full price. Beginning with the shipping date as day one, most trial offers only last a 10 day period before credit cards are charged full price. Products need to be cancelled before the trial is over and the remainder must be shipped back before the cancellation process is complete. Incentives will seem unbelievable such as vacations, cash or expensive products.

The Good News

There are many ways to find online surveys that pay for services. Paid surveys will prompt the requirement for a PayPal account. Other surveys reward points to be used for products after accumulating a certain amount. Online surveys also give the opportunity to have opinions heard about products, public interest and services. Rating hotels, retail stores and airlines can be both easy and rewarding. Find lists online of legitimate surveys and view the ratings to see how they match up or not.

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