Online Survey Scams

Identifying Survey Scams

Survey Scams
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.


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 is the world's largest online survey reviews website. For over 10 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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  • I’ve been a loyal user of Mintvine Research and they are legit. They pay via Paypal and a multitude of other options if you prefer to get discounts on products. Surveys are easy to understand and complete. Plenty of opportunities everyday and even when you don’t qualify for a specific survey they still give you points. Just today I got 30 points added to my account even though I didn’t qualify. If anyone wants to give it a try you can check it out here.

    I’ve also been using Opinion Outpost for the past 3 years with great success. No frills here, just easy to complete surveys and low payout value direct to Paypal, or choose to donate it to American Red Cross, and other options. Reputable site, customer service is great if you ever need it (I had two surveys that I completed but never registered in my credits). I contacted them and they rewarded me correctly.

    They are

  • I joined Univox more than a year, their surveys are hard to succeed, but I have really bad experience on this company. They removed my account last week, they said that one of their survey I completed was rejected by their client. I have more than 3000 points and 1 outstanding Amazon e-Gift Card which was redeemed on Oct. 19, 2015. Univox alway hold the redemption and I think they don’t want to pay anything to their panelists. I discourage all of you to join this company, it’ll waste your time.

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