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Spotting Paid Survey Scams Before They Cost You Money

Earning extra money from completing online surveys is a great way to supplement your income. It does not matter who you are, stay-at-home mum or business professional, you can generate extra income by sharing your opinion.

It is important, however, that when you join online survey companies that you are not caught by a scam. As with any other online opportunity, there are illegitimate companies seeking to steal your information. Work-from-home opportunities have encountered many of these problems because they are popular sites to visit. Learning how to spot, and avoid, a scam will help you succeed in this money making opportunity.

  • Avoid survey companies that request you to complete “offers” before ever allowing you to complete a survey. Many, if not most, of these companies are trying to generate revenue off of your purchases instead of paying you for your opinion. A genuine survey site will never ask you to make a purchase prior to issuing a survey.
  • Look for a “Contact Us” page. If the site does not have any relevant information about the company listed on it, avoid it at all costs. This is one of the largest signs that the site is a scam. All legitimate sites will have corporate headquarters listed, contact phone numbers and email addresses as well as where any independent offices may be located.
  • Look for a “Privacy Policy.” If the company does not have a legal privacy policy they are not interested in keeping your information private. You want to avoid these companies. They will either sell your information or use your email address for spam.
  • Look for an “Earnings Disclaimer.” This is the little legal blurb that states that earnings are not guaranteed and that any earnings in their advertisements may not be typical for all those who register. This is a sure sign that a company is legitimate if they have an earnings disclaimer. This disclaimer is issued to avoid any legal ramifications if participants do not earn what they anticipated.
  • Avoid any company that asks for personal banking information. Most companies will pay via PayPal or by issuing a check. They will not direct deposit into your bank account. Any company requesting routing numbers, bank account numbers or passwords should be avoided, ad reported to the authorities.
  • Avoid companies requesting PayPal passwords. You do not need a password to send money via PayPal. To issue you payment for your survey, the company only needs a valid email address that is attached to your account. No other information is needed.
  • Income guarantees are a hoax. Survey companies cannot legitimately promise you a specific amount of income from their surveys. Companies requesting market research have predetermined demographics to fill, it is impossible to be selected for every available survey.
  • Unbelievable testimonies posted on the website. Many of these sites create their own “client input” to make you believe that their clients are making large sums of cash from completing surveys on their site. Most people do not brag to anyone but their friends about the type of money they generate from online ventures, it is just human nature.
  • The site is not specific about how payments are made. If the site does not disclose how and when you will be paid for a survey, it is time to look for a new site. You want to know all the specifics for payment up-front. Make sure you know when you are paid for completing a survey, how payment is rendered (cash, points, entries) and how often payments are disbursed.
  • The site does not request demographic information about you, only personal information. Surveys are completed on demographics. The site must know specific things about you that are not personal information such as age, income level or amount of schooling completed. They should also inquire about interests and dislikes.

This is not a complete list, and there may be other signs that a company is not legitimate. Your best bet is to take a little time to research any company that you sign up for, and always trust your gut feeling. If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it most likely is a scam.

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