Online Survey Scams

Avoiding Paid Survey Scams

Avoiding paid surveys scams text on top of notebook with money
Written by SurveyPolice

There are plenty of websites that legitimately will pay you for sharing your opinions for taking paid surveys. However, being cautious is important, as scam websites have been known to masquerade as real paid survey opportunities for as long as paid surveys have been available.

In this guide, you’ll discover our top tips for avoiding paid survey scams and how to find truly legitimate paid survey websites.

Signs of a Paid Survey Scam

If you can spot the telltale signs of a paid survey scam, avoiding these types of scams is easy.

Below, you’ll discover 5 of the most obvious signs of a paid survey scam.

1. A too-good-to-be true reward

If you receive an email, SMS or internet pop-up offering you a free iPad or a substantial lump sum for answering a survey, your suspicions should immediately be awakened. This is clearly an example of a reward that is too good to be true.

If you’ve ever used a paid survey website, you’ll know the going rate for a short survey is a few dollars maximum.

So, stop kidding yourself. No company can afford to give away free tech products or huge cash rewards for one customer’s opinion.

2. Hiding behind huge brand names

It’s common for paid survey scammers to falsely use a well-known brand name to catch the attention of unsuspecting victims.

In recent years, there have been widespread paid survey scams claiming to be from Costco, Walmart and CVS, to name a few. Scammers use these instantly-recognizable brand names because they know many people have opinions to share about their products and services.

One such recent scam asked consumers to share their opinions about Covid-19 vaccinations. This is likely because it has affected us all, and many people have strong opinions about this topic.

If an international brand seemingly sends you communications about a survey out of the blue, you’re right to be wary of a scam.

3. Suspicious URLs

Man holding magnifying glass

Hover your mouse over a hyperlink at any time to check its URL before clicking on it. This is highly advisable if you’re suspicious about scam communications. If a hyperlink directs you to a strange-looking unknown URL, there’s a good chance it has been sent by a scammer.

If you receive one for a survey, check the sender’s address too. If it’s not from the exact domain name of the company, there’s a high chance it’s a scam.

4. A bare bones website

A one-page website with no links and no information about the company that owns it, is another huge sign of a paid survey scam.

At the very least, legitimate paid survey websites will have an ‘About Us’ page containing company information along with company contact details.

5. Asking for financial details

A common scam involves consumers completing a survey to win a free prize, then being asked to fill in their bank details to pay a small fee for shipping.

In many cases, you’ll be charged a few more times after this initial payment for items or services you do not want.

Keep an eye out for small print at the end of surveys asking if you want to sign up for a free trial of a service. This is a common move made by scammers and you can expect to be charged heavily once the trial ends.

If you’ve already given away your financial details to pay for shipping or a free trial, it’s worth getting in touch with your bank to cancel any future payments that have been set up against your will.

The Best Tool for Avoiding Paid Survey Scams

If a paid survey opportunity doesn’t have any of the aforementioned red flags, there’s a good chance it is a real survey opportunity. These are run by legitimate market research companies.

Still, if you want to double-check the legitimacy of a paid survey website, it’s smart to check the internet for reliable and independent reviews.

Here at Survey Police, we have over 23,000 user reviews for all of the major paid survey websites across the globe. These reviews will tell you whether a survey site is legitimate and if they’re a good use of your time. All reviews are submitted by survey takers who have or are currently a member of the site.

2 ways to use SurveyPolice:

  • Use the search tool – if you know the name of the survey site you want to look up, simply search for it. If a survey website hasn’t been reviewed by us, that’s one potential reason to be suspicious about it.


Paid survey websites are a fantastic resource for earning a fair side-income, but it’s important to keep an eye out for scams if you’re interested in participating.

We pride ourselves on providing a resource to help you avoid paid survey scams and to only use the best available paid survey websites. With over 15 years experience helping survey takers, we’re here to help!

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SurveyPolice is the world's largest online survey reviews website. For over 15 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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