How To Avoid Paid Survey Scam and Find Legitimate Online Surveys

Finding legitimate online paid surveys is not easy these days, because there are so many scams online. When you see those “work at home make money take paid surveys” ads flying around everywhere, you might wonder are those survey sites for real or they are just scam? How do I know a survey site is legitimate or not??

Well it’s true that there are legitimate market research survey companies and sites but majority of those self-claimed paid survey sites on the Internet are NOT the real deal.  Following are some advice and tips on how to identify and avoid the scammers and spammers so you can find the real legitimate paid survey sites.

1. First of all, you need to always keep in mind that legitimate market research survey sites/panels are always FREE TO JOIN.  It cost absolutely nothing to sign up with legit survey panels and take surveys and get paid.

The “survey sites” that ask for money are definitely not real paid survey site – usually they are simply charging you a fee to access their database/list of survey companies. Those are so-called “Paid Survey Directory/Survey Listing sites that charge a fee. Those sites often oversell how much you can make take surveys (so you are more willing to pay them to “join” them) and most likely they will sell your personal information to third parties. Examples of those sites are surveyscout.com and paid-surveys-at-home.com.

2. Second, be aware that there are many Paid Offer sites call themselves paid survey sites and the truth is they are not. This is very confusing especially for survey newcomers. The “main business” of a Paid offer site is they pay their members to sign up free or trial offers, although some of them do have those low paying “daily surveys”.  Not all paid offer sites are scams. Some are upfront about what they are, such as cashcrate.com. The scammers are the ones that claim paid offers are paid surveys (you see on their sites saying get paid $5 – $75 per survey which absolutely is a lie). Example of those scam sites are pandaresearch.com and vindaleresearch.com.

3. Another very common type of survey scam sites works like this: They claim they are paid survey sites or they are partners with survey sites and ask you to sign up and provide your personal information. Often those sites are overly simplified, no or very little company information and all they ask is your personal information including name and email address, and you won’t know what’s going on until you provide your information to register. What really happens is that they are just an email harvesting site or an advertising site, which means once they got your personal information they turn around sell it, or they just spam you with third party offers. Examples of those sites are surveyprincess.com and ecnresearch.com.

4. Always check any survey site’s privacy policy. If you are not happy with their policy or they don’t have a privacy policy, stay away.  Pay special attention on how your personal information is used. A legitimate company’s privacy policy should state something like “We do NOT reveal or sell your personal information to any third parties…”. Usually by reviewing a site’s privacy policy, you can eliminate a good portion of scammers and spammers.

5. Avoid the untrustworthy Free Survey Listing and Review sites. Those so called Free Survey Listing/Directory sites can NOT be trusted.  Here is how to identity them:

#1. If they require you to provide your name and email address (and other personal information) to access their listings – you should skip them because they will later spam you.

#2. If you spot them listing commonly known scam sites such as Panda Research and Vindale Research (these two sites misrepresent trial offers as paid surveys) or even Paid Survey Directory sites such as Sureyscout, so basically their listing is  a mix of everything and very likely will include spam and scam sites. This tells you that the owners of these sites have no ideas what they are talking about and they just promote anything they can find for commissions.

#3.  You definitely should avoid the “survey listing” sites that claim they have lists of hundreds of surveys sites (such as 300+, 400+, or even 500+, believe or not I have seen one site claiming they are listing 1600+ survey sites which is absolutely a joke). Because the truth of matter is there are not that many of real legitimate survey panels. This kind of survey listing sites is simply worthless and there is no reason to waste your time with such garbage.

paid-survey-scams-avoid-how-to6. Finally you need to remember NEVER EVER give out any sensitive personal information to anyone, such as driver’s license number, credit card number and bank account information. I have never had any legit survey companies request such information from me. Also legitimate survey companies rarely ask social security number unless you make more than $600 a year with a certain company within a year. Only legit survey company that asks for my social security number is Liveware, and they only need you give them your SSN the first time you complete their survey.

Now armed with above knowledge, you might still have trouble figuring out if a site is legit or not. If this is the case you can always check my free lists of legitimate paid survey sites or the paid survey scams section on this website. If it’s on my list of survey sites then it’s safe to join, and if I discussed about it in my paid survey scam section you should definitely avoid it. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help you. Good luck with your scam free survey experience.

24 thoughts on “How To Avoid Paid Survey Scam and Find Legitimate Online Surveys

  1. Great article, hun. I’ve been making money from surveys for over a year and I can vouch for your info. If anyone’s interested, I found this site Compares the better paying survey sites: surveycomparison.com

  2. im received email from many survey provide (et. survey jury, survey savey etc) but if im open that the web survey is run / change. pleas help me

  3. I always figure these things are too good to be true. Supposedly I am getting (according to them, already received) a packet with a check.

    “Follow the instructions below to complete the survey .

    Deduct your pay of $300 after cashing/depositing the official check at your bank
    Deduct another $180 for transfer fees and any other expenses i.e gas & transport.

    Locate the nearest Western Union agent location within your neighborhood (RITE AID,UNION STATION
    MARKET,MONEYTREE,SAFEWAY,TRAVELEX CURRENCY,MONEY MART,QFC)and make a transfer
    of what’s left of the funds after deduction of your pay and other fees to the information below,you are to
    appear as a potential customer making a Western Union transfer to a relative.

    Domonique Walker
    405 Fallowfield Road.
    Camp Hill PA 17011

    Be sure to observe the following during the transfer : how long it took you to get services,Intelligence of the
    attendant and Customer service professionalism during the transfer process and under no circumstances
    should the Western Union Agents know this evaluation is being carried out on them.”

    These people are relentless and should be prosecuted.

  4. Here’s another heads up on this anon. shopper scam from Andrew Taylor of 1809 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA.purporting to be with Teamhire. This man is a complete fraud. No doubt a Nigerian scammer operating from a laptop in an internet cafe sending out thousands of these emails.

    He’ll send you two money orders for $973.27 to cash at your bank. You take the cash to your local Western Union agent to wire the money someone in Houston Texas. Your job is to evaluate the employees at the agency and the ease of service. You’re to keep $200 for your service and send the remainder to the person in Texas.

    He’ll also send follow up emails to urge you to carry out your assignment for future assignments and payments.

    The gotcha factor is the money orders that these scum bags send are worthless and now you owe the bank $1946.54.

    Don’t do it. Delete these scammers :woohoo:

  5. I signed up with Surveyhead.com, and that was free, and they reward you with points—of course, you have to have a boatload of points before they turn into cash, but they don’t ask for cc info, or anything that you would be uncomfortable giving. Their surveys are interesting and different, and you can opt for getting surveys on a daily or weekly basis. So far, they seem okay, if anyone wants to check them out.

  6. I am considering trying Premier Rewards Club to get paid for doing surveys. They claim to pay $10 /hr Anyone tried it or heard good/bad things?

  7. Has anyDonaldsone out there received a check for this amount to survey WalMart, Sears, McDonalds , MoneyGram and Western Union?
    It seems to good to be true.[quote name=Anonymous]Is this for real?[/quote]

  8. Can you tell how to find legitimate sites for paid surveys and other on-line work. I don’t want to have to weed through a ton of scams.

    thank you

  9. Hi, I just incidentally bumped on this site, am glad to have done so, for person like me some where in East Africa, how can I receive my payment ideally, for like,Paypal is only send not receive. Thanks

  10. Hi friend, Im very new to all this paid survey stuff, can you pleeease give me a list of legitamate survey sites that arnt scams and spam? I could raly use a little extra money…..I know I wont get rich or be able to quit my day job, but every penny counts. thank you so very much for your time.

  11. Could you mail me some very legit site address for earning money at email removed for privacy purpose

    Thanks in advance

  12. Hi Neaz,

    Check out the “Paid Survey Lists” on this site, all survey sites on the lists are legitimate.

  13. Hi guys,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Colette,

    Do NOT do it, that is a checking cashing SCAM! Check out the mystery shopping section in message board. The thread about the scam.

  14. what about a company sending you a check, I received a check for a large amount that the company wants me to use to send and evaluate a moneygram company?

  15. Giving out your bank account information can sometimes be necessary to get paid and it isn’t risky but just a way IN to your bank, not a way OUT.
    If it was risky then even paying by cheque or credit card would be risky as it carries the same information.

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