If you thought asking for money or a credit card to join is the only way to tell scams apart from legitimate paid survey sites, you’re wrong.
Not all paid survey scams ask for money. There was one, GPT Infinity, which was disguised as a paid survey site: free, had a good amount of surveys/offers, and I even received a product in the mail to sample(an acne product from Burt’s Bees in a small, clear tube).
Here’s the way I see this scam making its money:
- They tried to appear legit so people would signup(using their name and email address)
- Sold their information. This would explain the sudden get-rich-quick spam in my inbox.
- Make money whenever a member completed a survey/offer. I don’t know how they got affiliated with companies to make this possible, but they did.
- Keep all the money to themselves. They never paid anyone.
That would continue until they ran out of business or until someone reported them, which is what I did two years later, regrettably. I would have easily avoided wasting over a month of my time with this scam if I’d known what I’m about to share with you.
They are things I learned and discovered(the hard way) that should tell you if the survey site you are checking is legit or not. This might not be 100% fool-proof, but it has always worked for me.
There are three things that I do:
- Check with the Better Business Bureau(BBB for short)
- Find reviews
- Explore the site in question
Check the Better Business Bureau
I use bbb.org(official website of the Better Business Bureau) to see if the business exists in the first place. Enter the url of the paid survey site in the search bar that accepts urls, then click “search”. If you don’t get any results, make sure you are using the search tool correctly and check your spelling.
No results mean the BBB hasn’t reviewed them yet, or the business doesn’t exist. They’ll provide a link you should use to have them develop a report on the business.
They have a rating system, but I honestly don’t rely on it nor do I recommend you do. I only take their ratings into consideration when there aren’t any reviews elsewhere. I do, however, trust sites that received BBB accreditation.
Don’t only judge by ratings alone if you can. See what people are saying. Reviews should give you an idea of what to expect. If all you are seeing is “johndoesurveys.com is a scam” all around the web, something fishy is likely going on and you should probably stay away.
Searching “is *website* a scam” in a search engine is one way to find reviews. I don’t really trust reviews with poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation — positive or not.
Explore the Site in Question
Does it seem too good to be true? If you’ve been taking paid surveys for a while, especially with different sites, I’m sure you can easily answer this question without any doubt.
Survey sites don’t promise you lots of five, ten, twenty, fifty, or even hundred-dollar surveys. They all exist, and I’m sure the reason why they aren’t mentioned by legitimate survey sites is because they are really rare and they know you won’t always qualify for one of them.
Does it have an earnings calculator? If you see one, it’s
most-likely definitely a scam. Stay away.
Does it have forums? You can see what members are talking about and how active it is. If you are seeing loads of spam, and I mean posts unrelated to the site in every inch of their forums, stay away. That site has been either been hacked or doesn’t have moderators because it is a scam.
Does it use bad spelling, grammar, or punctuation? If you read sentences that make no sense or is full of all kinds of mistakes, it’s likely a scam.
This is basically all I do to find out if a site is a real paid survey site, a fake, or a potential waste of time, and I hope this information helps you like it has helped me.