1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Paid Surveys

By

Top Related Searches

Avoiding Online Paid Surveys Scams

The bottom line is, if the hype for online paid surveys sounds too good to be true, it likely is. That's the safest way to screen out "offers" that hype big rewards for small investments of time or money. Don't be fooled by:

  • Testimonials - Ropers and shills typically write these for scams, not satisfied customers.
  • Documented Proof - Some questionable paid survey sites provide checks and other documental replications as "proof." But just because someone made money at least once, doesn't mean that you will. Besides, with today's computer technology, paid survey scams can counterfeit just about any document and make it look authentic.
  • Guarantees - Don't believe guarantees that promise the Moon. Paid survey sites can't possibly guarantee you much of anything, except that they'll refund your fees if you're not satisfied. But good luck collecting your refund if it's a paid surveys scam.

The "fine print" at questionable paid survey sites often contradicts much of what their hype implies. (That's how they try to cover themselves legally.) Don't let the hype alone sell you. Read all of the fine print too and ask questions if it's vague or you don't understand it. Think twice about submitting your personal information to any paid surveys site that does not provide a clear privacy policy or arouses your suspicion in any other way. Also read disclaimers, terms, conditions and any other fine print. Avoid sites that don't answer your questions in a satisfactory and timely manner. Be wary of conducting business with sites that list only email or PO box addresses for questions and other matters, as they might be fly-by-night, paid survey scams.

Perform "whois" lookups to reveal if paid survey sites were registered by proxy. If so, be wary of doing business with them too. Site owners might be hiding their contact information behind proxy services, because they're running paid survey scams. Whois lookups will also tell you if different sites were launched by the same owners (unless they were registered by proxy). If so, be wary about that too. Owners might have launched multiple sites to make their "industry" appear to be more legit, dupe you into buying the same list of paid surveys more than once, or both.

Check with the BBB for complaints against specific online paid survey sites and their owners. But, be aware that, just because there are no complaints, it doesn't mean that all who have conducted business with the sites are 100-percent satisfied. It just means that no one has yet complained to the BBB about those specific sites. More about that is below.

Browse scam forums, such as Scam.com and RipOffReport.com, for messages from consumers who think they've been duped by online paid survey scams. But, proceed with caution. Some messages are posted by ropers and shills pretending to "rescue" those who've been duped by paid survey scams or who are looking to avoid it. For example, the "rescuers" might say that all online paid surveys are scams, except for the "wonderful opportunities" they've found. But, what they don't tell you, is they profit from recommending the "wonderful opportunities". Scam-forum moderators typically remove such messages. But, natch, they'll remain posted until the moderators screen them.

The same goes for sites that claim to screen out paid survey scams, or that rate or rank paid survey sites. Be wary if they link to fee-based middleman sites or display ads for same, as they're probably trying to earn commissions and referral fees by duping you. Natch, sites that pay them the most receive the highest ratings or top-most rankings. Some even go so far as to display phony award logos, hokey rating stars and such.

For more information about avoiding scams, see the consumer advice from the FTC and BBB. But, although both have issued general warnings about easy-money schemes (such as work-at-home and Internet business-opportunity scams), at this writing neither has specifically warned about online paid surveys. That's likely because online paid surveys are a fairly new easy-money scheme at this writing.

Regardless, this writer is willing to bet that it won't be long before the FTC or BBB collect enough complaints to issue specific warnings. According to reputable sources on the Web, local BBB offices have been flooded by complaints against paid surveys sites.

If you've been ripped-off by online paid surveys scams, as indicated you may file complaints with the FTC and BBB. You may also file complaints with the U.S. government's Internet Fraud Complaint Center.

Paid Surveys offers only general information and opinion. It is not legal advice. Neither the author nor publisher are engaged in rendering legal services. Please see an attorney for legal advice. Should you act based on this general information and opinion, you do so at your sole risk. Neither the author nor publisher shall have any liability arising from your decision to act on this general information and opinion.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.