Study Reveals Details on What People Exactly Mean by Scam
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Study Reveals Details on What People Exactly Mean by Scam

EPF Last Update: May 28, 2019

‘I spend 1 hour answering surveys and I didn’t get paid.’

Ok, this is really a scam…

But is this the only one case that people consider a scam? What does a scam actually mean? Does it refer only to not getting paid or are there other things that can be describe as scam?

The answer is yes. There are actually different types of scams.

When we started Elite Survey Sites, there were a lot of scammers. But the types of scams were different. Different people used different tactics to defraud people.

We have decided to get a better understanding of what people would consider as a scam and so we asked about 1000 active survey panelists more detailed questions. Below you will find what answers we got.

But before that … how do actually scammers play their game?

In brief, scammers use a few tactics to manipulate people:

  • They guarantee them certain income, which is typically very high. It can be about $100 per hour guaranteed, or $3,000-$10,000 a month for easy online work.
  • People are required to pay money for getting access to easy money- making systems that guarantee them money.
  • Survey panels with paid registration. There are still panels that require you to pay money to register. They justify this by saying that if you pay them, they feel you are more serious about their work.

All this sucks.

Are paid surveys legit and why some people feel that they have bad reputation?

Although we tried to answer this question in our other articles, we will cover it here in brief. The answer is that paid surveys are not scams. Scammers who try to manipulate people into believing that they will become rich if they buy their money-making systems make all surveys seem like scams to some of you. There are many legit panels that don’t give any guarantees and actually provide an opportunity for people to make real money.

How can I recognize survey scams?

All legit panels are free to register, give no guarantee for income, they are popular businesses, and they actually pay. For those of you who want to read more about this, please check our legit paid survey guide.


Back to the topic.

We did an interesting study where we asked people some questions about survey scams. Below we will show the results and will comment on some of the questions.

Note that our comments are only based on our personal opinion. We are not sure why people voted that way and what the reasons behind these answers are.


Would You Pay to Register with a Survey Panel?

Yes – 90.4%

NO – 9.6%

The reason why people pay to start making money with paid surveys is a lack of information. As we said before, scammers manipulate people and sell them systems that reveal how to change their lives and how easy it is to become rich through paid surveys. Other scammers require money to give people access to high paying offers. All of these are scams. We’ve been working on our site to always give people the correct information that will help them to start making money with surveys easily. If people pay for surveys, they won’t make more money! In fact, we buy many systems and read them, and if we find something really interesting, we will reveal it here absolutely for free… But so far, we haven’t found anything significant that is not on our site. Actually, these systems copy information and lists of high paying surveys from sites like ours.


How Do You Know if a Survey Panel is Legit?

  • I believe that every survey panel on Google is legitimate. – 12.4%
  • I trust only BBB-verified survey panels. – 10.4%
  • I check if the panel is listed in survey directories. – 16.5%
  • I believe that every survey panel that is free to register is legitimate. – 10.9%
  • A survey panel is legit only if I find many positive reviews, comments and forum posts about it online. – 21.9%
  • Every survey panel is a scam  – 1.1%
  • I trust EliteSurveySites panels  – 26.7%

Let’s start with a big ‘Thanks’ to these 26.7% who trust our site!!! This is a clear sign that proves our 7 years of working hard to help people make more money with surveys pays off!

It seems that people put great trust in reading reviews, comments and forum posts. There, people share their personal opinion on their experience with panels. However, you have to know that some of these comments can be manipulated. So, our advice is to read these things, but be careful. Not all of the information on the Internet is correct.

People still put trust in directories. By this, we mean sites like ours that give honest reviews of many panels. But the problem is that you don’t know how honest the opinion is. You have to know that most of these sites that review panels get paid by these panels. Therefore, they can be manipulated into writing false things.

EliteSurveySites carefully reviews panels before writing reviews!

Only 1.1% of the people said that all surveys are scam. We guarantee that if we asked this question 10 years ago, we would get a much higher percentage. This proves that people trust this business more nowadays.


Compare Paid Survey Legitimacy Now vs Before

  • Now there are many more legitimate survey panels than before.6%
  • Most surveys used to have paid registration, now most of them are with free registration. 23%
  • Paid surveys have always been scams.1%
  • Paid surveys have always been legit.8%
  • Before, there were many more legitimate survey panels than now.5%

If we analyze these results carefully, we will find that the percentage points of people who think that all of the companies are legit or that they are scams are the lowest in this study. And we fully agree with these people. There are many legit companies, but there are also scams. You can’t trust that all sites are legit or that all are scams.

There are more legit surveys now. 41.6% of the people said that! On the other hand, 21.5% of the people believe that there are more scams than before.

Our opinion is that now there are many more scams. Here, we also wanted to point out that one of the reasons are sites like ours. These are the sites that provide transparent information on what is going on behind the scenes. We teach people to make more money, but we don’t say stupid things like ‘you will become a millionaire’, and we don’t want money from people. Before, there were many more popular sites that asked people to pay for that.


Which of the Following Would You Define as a Scam?

  • Survey panels with paid registration are scam. – 19.7%
  • Sites who sell lists of paid surveys or educational materials about paid surveys are scam. – 14.8%
  • Paid surveys which pay less than they offer are scam. – 14%
  • Disqualification from a survey with no points is scam. – 8.5%
  • Disqualification from a survey where you get fewer points is scam. – 3.9%
  • Payment delay of more than a month is scam. – 12.9%
  • Survey panels that require credit card information and SSN are scam.2%

Obviously, panels that require you to pay to register and that require your credit card information and SSN are scams. In this category, we also included money-making systems and sites that sell you educational information to start making money with surveys.

14% of the people said that surveys that pay less than they offer are scam. This is really interesting. People still get paid, but they feel that they get paid less than they deserved. Notice that this answer received a high percentage of votes, but there are also people who didn’t click on that option. This is probably because there are people who understand that the fact that they get some money means that this is not exactly a scam.

Payment delay of more than a month is a scam. We personally don’t believe that this is a scam. We recommend, of course, that you stick with companies with faster payment options, and we recommend to these companies to reduce their payment delay over time. But we can’t say that this is scam if it is written in their terms clearly. In case it is not written or the delay period is longer than indicated, then this is an entirely different thing, of course.

People also feel that when they have been disqualified from a survey offer, this is scam. Actually, companies disqualify you when they feel that your answers can’t be used. Some of them give you a prequalification survey to check if you are the right pick for them or not. Some of them give you points for your time, but less than the actual survey would get you.


What Would You Do if You Were Scammed by a Paid Survey Panel ?

  • Nothing, but I would stop working with them. – 28%
  • Nothing, I would try to work with them again. – 3.5%
  • I would report them to BBB or other complaint sites. – 20.2%
  • I would report them to EliteSurveySites  – 35%
  • I would stop working with all survey panels. – 4.6%
  • I would start posting negative comments about them on forums, blog posts and so on. – 8.7%

Let’s start with big thanks to the people who trust our report system. 35% of them said that they would report scam panels to us. This really helps us improve our site and help people like you avoid scams.

Some of the people said that they would continue working with the panels who have already scammed them, others that they would stop. Although we see no reason for trying to work with a panel that has already scammed you, we have one tip. Ask why they didn’t pay. In some cases, it is not exactly a scam. Maybe they feel that your answers can’t be used, maybe they think that you haven’t answered correctly to the survey. In this case, the company reserves its right to cancel a payment.

A low percentage of the people said that they would stop working with all surveys. Don’t do that. The fact that you started with a wrong panel doesn’t mean that you have to stop working with panels altogether. There are many legit ones that will pay.

The same study also reveals the percentage of people who are willing to report such a panel to BBB and sites like ours.


How Many Times Were You Scammed by Paid Surveys Last Year?

  • 0  – 45.6%
  • Few times only, not too many  – 37.9%
  • Several times – 10.9%
  • Many times  – 5.6%

We don’t know what people exactly mean by many times, but the percentage of people with this answer is really low, which is great.

See how many people said that they hadn’t been scammed, or had been scammed, but only a few times.

We hope that the study was interesting to you. It’s still open and you can vote.


Sure signs of paid survey scams:

  • Companies who want you to pay them to start making money with surveys.
  • Sites requiring you to share your credit card information and your SSN.
  • Sites looking like a scam are probably a scam.
  • Sites that guarantee you a certain amount of money, often a big one.
  • Sites that don’t have a physical address and phone number on their sites.

Was this study interesting to you? The questions are still open and you can give your opinion. We periodically review the results and update them on our blog. We expect your comments.

Elite Survey Sites

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