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.
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 Survey Scout, 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.
6. 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.