Online Survey Scams

Identifying Survey Scams

Survey Scams
SurveyPolice
Written by SurveyPolice

If you’re looking to participate in online surveys, it may seem that you are faced with the daunting task of figuring out which online survey panels are legitimate and which are simply scams. Sometimes the decision is easy – a website where a bikini-clad model holding a laptop with “win me!” flashing on the screen is clearly not a legitimate survey panel, but rather, a marketing company looking to collect information.

Sometimes, however, this differentiation is not so obvious. Here’s what to look for when you’re unsure of whether or not a survey panel is actually legitimate.

Bare Bones, 1-Page Signup Forms

A site that simply asks for your first and last name and e-mail address is usually a scam site and not a market research panel. If the initial signup page looks over simplified, be weary – most online survey companies collection additional information so they can better target panellists for available surveys. Be cautious with these ‘bare bones’ websites and keep these next red flags in mind.

No Company Information

Similar to a 1-page registration, many survey scam websites do not provide any information at all regarding their business. Marketing research companies willingly disclose information regarding their company headquarters, company history, survey panel information, etc. It’s a way for them to not only establish trust between them and new survey takers, but also to businesses who are considering hiring them to conduct surveys. A website lacking this important ‘about us’ page may be an online survey scam website.

Missing Privacy Policy

Similarly to no background information, a website that does not list a privacy policy is unlikely to be a legitimate online survey site. Legitimate online survey panels will list the ways they use panellist information and will display this in the form of a privacy policy. Any website missing this important page of information should be completely avoided. Ideally, a privacy policy is paired with a terms of use, or terms of service agreement. Both of these are very important, as one outlines how your privacy is handled, and the other explains the details of the relationship that you’re forming with the website/panel.

Too-Good-To-Be-True Promises

Some online survey websites will make claims that include making exorbitant sums of money. For example, a claim stating earnings of $150 a day taking online surveys is most likely fraudulent. Most verifiable market research companies encourage panellists to take online surveys because their opinions are valuable and influence the products and services of tomorrow. Reasonable compensation for surveys is usually awarded to panellists, but taking surveys is not a huge money-making endeavour. Websites promising otherwise should be thoroughly investigated.

If there is any question in your mind that a website you visit is not that of an online survey company, but is instead an online survey scam – do not complete the registration form! Once you hit ‘submit’ on a form, you are agreeing to having your information used in ways that you might not agree with. If you’re still feeling adventurous, complete the panel registration form, but set up an alternate e-mail address and provide this address as your contact e-mail. This way, if your judgement is incorrect, at least the spam you end up receiving will go to a less important e-mail account.

Conclusion

Online surveys are a great way to voice your opinions and be compensated for doing so. They are fun, addictive, and really do make an impact on the products and services companies develop, modify and discontinue. SurveyPolice is at your service to help you differentiate between online survey scam websites and true marketing research companies, wanting and needing your opinion for legitimate purposes.

How to Find Legitimate Online Surveys

Not all survey sites are scams, which is precisely why SurveyPolice exists – to point you to the ones that you can trust. Simply click the button below to be connected with online survey panels who are looking for new members in your area.

Find legitimate surveys on SurveyPolice

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SurveyPolice

SurveyPolice

SurveyPolice.com is the world's largest online survey reviews website. For over 11 years we have provided ratings on top online survey panels. Compare the best online survey websites and see which are worth joining!

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4 Comments

  • I’ m on 47 Survey panels, and have been for years, but recently one survey got me! I took a survey and it was a hour long, (which I’ve done before), at the end as a THANK YOU for taking their survey, they said you could pick among a assortment of items and all you pay is shipping of 5.99. Well, they were nice items, and this was December 16, 2015, close to Christmas, and there was a man’s watch, nice one by ONMX, I googled the brand and watch and it valved at $205.00, so I thought, a nice gift for 5.99. Well, after Christmas I noticed in my bank statement, that $98.00 was taken out from this company. The company was: Theshoeinfinity! I contacted them and they said, I signed up for a trial of men’s watches, then after the trial it would cost me $98.00 a month! NO WHERE, after the end of the survey, did it state, once you choose an item, please read the terms of agreement, because this is a trial program. They will not refund my money, and they said that I checked the terms of agreement,(which I did), but it was about the shipping, nothing about entering a trial period of a program. So I did a survey company a favor, and it cost me $98.00!

    • The same exact thing happened to my husband. How do you go about stopping this from happening to others, I’m gonna have my husband call the bank

  • Denise, I am looking into starting the Survey business but have been inundated by the number of scammers. Can you provide a good list of survey companies for me to look into. I don’t want to waste valuable time wading thru all the hoaxers. Thanks, Edd.

    • Hi Edd,

      What you’re looking for is exactly why SurveyPolice exists! We only list legitimate online survey sites on our website and they are ranked by user reviews. The top rated survey sites listed on our websites have dozens, if not hundreds of positive reviews, which is an assurance of their legitimacy. You can find the top rated survey panels on our site here: http://www.surveypolice.com/rankings

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