Thanks to the World Wide Web, there are dozens of ways to make a few bucks online. In fact, about 43% of Americans say they spend at least some part of their day working from a remote location, made possible with access to the internet.
Getting paid to do surveys is only one of the myriad of ways that people can potentially make some money online. Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out what their target audience wants, and online surveys are one way to do that.
Sounds easy enough: just answer a few questions honestly and get paid for your time by companies who are looking for valuable market research.
Unfortunately, the world of online surveys isn’t without its fair share of lurking scammers waiting to pounce on their next unsuspecting victim. While you’re trying to make some extra money, scammers are trying their best to take it away from you.
Are paid online surveys scams? Sometimes, which is why it’s so important to be aware that online survey scams exist and keep an eye out for them. The thing is, scammers are becoming increasingly savvy and sophisticated and are making it harder for people to spot an online survey scam.
If you’re considering participating in paid online surveys, arm yourself with some information that will help you tell the difference between a bona fide paying survey and a scam. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1. You’re Asked to Pay to Join a Survey Membership Site
The whole point of taking these online surveys is to get paid for them. As such, it doesn’t make sense to have to pay to become a member of these sites. All these sites are doing is listing survey opportunities that you can find on your own through a simple online search.
If you come across an online paid survey opportunity that asks you to pay an upfront membership fee, look elsewhere.
2. You’re Being Asked For Way Too Much Personal Information
Many spammy survey sites lure consumers by offering freebies or discounts right out of the gates just to get people to give away their email address in exchange. Your email is then handed out to other sites that inundate your inbox with sales pitches.
While that’s bad enough, other scammers will ask for a lot of personal information from you, including your address, phone number, and even your social security number. There’s no reason for a legitimate online survey company to have that kind of data. All they really need is information about your demographics – such as your age, gender, and income – in order for them to use the information you give them appropriately.
What’s worse, you may have already given them your credit card information if you signed up as a paid member on their site. In turn, your credit card may be charged every month, even after several attempts to cancel. Don’t fall prey to scammy survey sites that ask for far more personal information than they need.
3. They Don’t Ask For Enough Information
Wait, isn’t it a red flag if a survey site asks for too much information? Yes, if it’s sensitive information they’re asking for as discussed above. However, in order for surveys to do their job they’re designed to do, a certain amount of information will need to be collected from you. That’s how they assign specific surveys that are most suitable for each person’s preferences.
Legitimate paid online survey sites typically ask users to complete a detailed form. This helps them determine which surveys to assign and how your answers will reflect how they’ll formulate their products and marketing tactics. On the other hand, overly-simplified forms are signs that the site is just out to collect your email address, especially if they don’t share any of their info.
5. It Sounds Too Good to Be True
Paid online survey sites that promise the world for very little work in return are likely trying to butter you up in order to lure you in. You then find out after getting sucked into their world that there really is hardly any money to be made. Worse, you’ve just given away too much information in exchange for the promise of making a ton of money that never pans out.
You’ve heard the saying before: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s not very likely that you’ll be able to make a full-time income taking online surveys. That said, there are some legitimate sites out there that can help you make a few extra bucks every month. If this is something you’d like to do, make sure that you keep on the lookout for shady sites that ask you for a plethora of private information and an upfront investment.
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