The concept of paid online surveys is not a scam. They are a perfectly legitimate way of making money online without ever leaving the comfort of your home. You will not make a lot of money doing paid surveys, but you can definitely make a few extra dollars for groceries.
Many of these survey sites offer payment in the form of rewards or gifts, and some offer cash payouts or points programs that result in cash payouts.
However, there are definitely some scams to watch out for so we have put together a few tips on how to avoid these scams. Below, you will find the sure signs of a paid survey scam site.
Making promises of big payouts for taking surveys
You will often see websites offering big bucks, making claims such as “Earn $500 per week filling out surveys!” These sound too good to be true, and sadly most of them are too good to be true.
Companies that offer paid surveys make money on the information that you provide to them. Some legitimate companies are perfectly fine with making a small amount on each survey that you take, and providing a valuable service to both you and the company needing the market research. However, scammers want to make more money so they will use tricks and lies to get money out of you.
Some companies will make promises of very high pay rates for surveys. The companies that are making these big promises are likely scammers. The more legitimate sites will claim to be exactly what they are – a way of making a little bit of extra scratch. Fortunately for you, here at Elite Survey Sites we compile lists and we write reviews of all of the best paid survey sites and post them for you to benefit from.
Offering $100/hour for focus groups
Many scammers will tout this rate to entice people into their focus groups. While it is possible to make over $100/hour by participating in a focus group, it is rare and you may only find one that pays this much every few months. Paid focus groups are a great way to make money, but few will pay this highly.
Overly simple signup forms
If a survey company is only asking for your first and last name and email address before allowing you to sign up for surveys, it is probably not a legitimate site. Market research companies are paid to get people like me and you to take surveys, but in order for them to ask you the right questions and give the correct information to the companies hiring them, they must employ methods of determining demographics to ensure that the right people take the right surveys. If you see an overly simple signup form, you should proceed with caution.
Charging you a registration or membership fee
One of the easiest signs that a paid survey site is a scam is if the company charges you a fee just to sign up or become a member. These sites will also tell you that you will make “X number of dollars” to entice you to pay the fee. This scam tricks people every single day, and leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths for paid surveys which results in many people thinking the whole industry is a scam. While we will not tell you exactly how much money you can make through a particular survey site, we will tell you the truth – that you can definitely make some money doing paid surveys online.
Many of these sites are just going to take your money and then give you a list of legitimate surveys and survey sites to choose from. Don’t pay them! You can find many of these sites yourself online for free – in fact, we at Elite Survey Sites do this for you for free. We offer lists of the best tried and true survey sites. We never include sites that require you to buy in, as that defeats the purpose of trying to make extra money doing surveys. We take the time to research, test and write about the best survey sites just for your benefit – and we offer the information for free so you know you can trust us over people looking for you to buy these same lists.
Bad-mouthing other money making methods
There are many different ways to make money online, and legitimate survey sites will not bash other methods or try to convince you that other methods are scams. Instead, they will focus on providing you with the best or most surveys that they can so that you can both benefit.
Many scam sites will talk down on all other forms of online money-making in order to make you feel you can trust them. However, you should trust us instead for the following reasons:
- We understand that there are many other great ways to make money online and would never tell you otherwise
- We focus solely on paid survey sites and provide you with the best information possible
- We give you pros and cons of each survey site
Tip for protecting yourself from getting scammed
Whether you are looking at a site and are unsure if it is a legitimate site or not, or you just want a few basic steps to protect yourself from scam artists, below are seven steps that will help you to find legitimate survey sites and to weed out the bad ones.
- Sign up for all paid survey sites with a secondary email account that you use solely for survey sites
- Look for an “about us” page that seems to be genuine
- Don’t ever pay to sign up for a survey site
- Look to see if the website goes on and on about “not being a scam” – if they have to try really hard to convince you that they are not scammers, they are probably scammers
- Search for reviews for that site, especially from scam.com and other similar websites
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is so don’t waste your time