Are you looking for tips on how to avoid survey scams? You are in the right place.
When you are looking for ways to make money online, you may be tempted to spend some minutes completing online surveys that promise huge monetary rewards. But before you go ahead and fall for this trick, you need to ensure that the survey is not a scam.
Fraudulent survey sites are not only harmful to consumers like you, but they also dent the image of brands. In this article, we will take a look:
- What survey scams are
- How to spot a survey scam
- Types of survey scams, and
- How you can avoid survey scams
What is a Survey Scam?
Survey scams take different forms. I have grouped them into three main categories as shown below:
- Survey sites that will deceive you to pay them your hard-earned money.
- Survey sites that are interested in getting your contact information (so that they can sell them to a third party), and
- Survey sites that offer nothing apart from wasting your time.
Although the third category cannot be termed a scam. The fact that some survey sites have offers that are limited to specific countries does not make them a scam.
Also, there are sites where you think you signed up for offers but you eventually find out you’ve joined their email list. These sites are not a scam per se. most of them promote legitimate offers. However, they can be deceptive and may also be a waste of time.
Then we have sites that are only interested in getting money out of you. These are the sites that you need to stay away from. In the next section, we will look at how you can spot these sites.
How to Identify Survey Scams
1. It costs money to take surveys
This is the main sign that depicts that a survey site is a scam. It is free to join legit survey sites. So if you are compelled to pay before you can participate on a survey site, you need to ignore such a site.
Some sites charge a little fee to register. This can tempt you to join such sites because you’ll think you don’t have much to lose. However, do not pay to take surveys on any website.
These websites charge a low fee to lure many people to sign up. They will end up making lots of money while they offer nothing in exchange for the fee they charged.
Another trick such sites use is that they deceive you with a list of survey sites that pay the highest amount of rewards. They promise to give you the list once you pay them. The truth is you don’t need to pay to have access to survey sites that pay people for completing offers.
You can check out my list of safe international survey sites that will not ask you to pay before you take surveys.
Most of the lists that these websites ask you to pay for are nothing but basic lists. In most cases, the person that compiled the list usually has not tried out the sites. So do not fall for any list that promises to provide high-paying survey sites.
2. Promise to reveal a “secret”
We all like the word ‘secret’ when it comes to making money. We have been wired to believe that something great lies under the ‘secret.’
That is why scam survey sites ask you to pay so that they can reveal the secret about how you can get rich from surveys. They even promise that you can make a full-time income from surveys with little or no effort.
Do not fall for these tricks. When it comes to online surveys, there is no secret to getting rich from them.
In a nutshell, you cannot earn a full-time income completing surveys, and they don’t have any secret to teach you. Sites like this are only interested in getting money from you by asking you to pay for something that does not exist.
3. No information about the website
Scammers prefer to be anonymous. That is why you will not find any about page on survey sites that want to scam people.
Don’t misunderstand me; not all survey sites without an About Page are scams. However, it is one of the things you need to look for to figure out if a site is a scam or not. If you see this sign on a survey site, you need to dig deeper to confirm if the website is a scam.
4. Promise you can become wealthy
Survey websites cannot make you rich. Although they can give you some bucks in your spare time, they are not enough to make you rich.
So if you come across a website that claims you can make hundreds of dollars every week, do not fall for the temptation to sign up because you will be disappointed and you may end up wasting money.
5. Testimonials that are too good to be true
You must have come across videos on some survey sites where people who claim to be members of the sites share their experiences.
They will share stories about how much money they have made. They will also tell you how the website changed their life to make a full-time income from the corner of their home without doing anything.
They can even take it a step further by taking pictures on the beach, in exotic cars, or with piles of cash.
Although these videos may be convincing, however, don’t forget the warning I gave earlier; you cannot become rich from completing surveys.
If you see any testimonial where someone claims to be making lots of money from surveys, such testimonial is nothing but fake. The person sharing the testimonial is most likely an actor hired on Fiverr for $5.
Examples of Survey Scams
What are some common examples of survey scams?
Do not fall for big names when you are taking surveys online. The fact that you saw a survey from Walmart does not mean the survey is from Walmart. A fraudster may be impersonating the company.
2. The use of phishing surveys
Scammers usually target unsuspecting individuals with phishing surveys to get sensitive information from them.
Such surveys may appear as display adverts in social news feeds. When you click them and start filling out the form, you will discover that you need to provide your username, social security number, credit card information, and passwords.
When you experience this, it is a red flag. You are on a phishing site and you need to close it immediately. No legitimate survey site will request such details.
3. Sending email scams
It is not easy to know all the mailing lists you’ve joined. So, when you come across a survey in your email that aligns with your interest, you are most likely to click on it. However, don’t. If you cannot confirm that you signed up for the list, it’s likely a scam.
Once you click the link, you will expose your computer or mobile device to malware. This will allow the scammer to be able to steal your banking details, passwords, and lots more. You are at the risk of identity theft once scammers have access to your personal information.
4. Conversion fraud
Companies using form fill-outs to run lead surveys are also prone to falling prey to survey scams. Form fill-outs are not safe from fraud.
Scammers now use sophisticated software to fill forms and make them look like they were filled by real customers. This can skew the survey results of such companies. At the end of the day, they get nothing but a fraud.
Tips For Avoiding Survey Scams
Companies can avoid survey scams by using an ad fraud detection solution to know if real people are filling out their surveys. This solution will protect them against conversion fraud.
Scammers are not perfect; they always leave clues behind. You can use these clues to know if a particular survey site is a scam. Some of the clues are obvious, for instance asking you to pay before taking a survey, while others are not.
For instance, a survey site can spend lots of time getting all your information from you and at the end of the day, they’ll claim you don’t qualify for the survey.
Also, if you receive a survey link in your email, move your cursor over the link before you click it. Look at the URL to ensure it is not domain spoofing.
Although it is not easy to navigate through the detection of online survey scams and ad fraud, there are signs that you need to watch out for. Ensure you do your homework and do not rush so that you don’t end up losing your money or confidential data to fraudsters.
I hope this article has helped you know how to avoid survey scams. Note that not all survey sites are scams; there are still many legit ones that pay their members. How good a survey site is, depends on several factors like your geographical location.
If you pay attention to the signs discussed in this article, you will be able to avoid survey scams and focus on the legitimate ones that work for you.
Thanks for reading.