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Paid Survey Scams – What to Avoid when Joining Paid Survey Companies

by Rob Johnson

You will likely never earn a full-time wage when signing on with a paid survey company. However, earning a few bucks here and there can go a long way toward paying for some of the extras in life. In your quest to find a few of these paid survey companies to sign up with, you are likely to run into scams. Do you know how you can spot a scam? Your biggest clue is that the scams will ask you for money.

There are a number of ways that paid survey scams work. First, there is the “one-time registration fee for administration purposes” scam. The companies that pull these types of scams will sound very sincere and post supposed testimonials from their “satisfied customers,” all as a way to entice you and scam you out of some money. These places will say that they must unfortunately charge that one time fee as a way to cover the administrative costs such as maintaining their website and keeping their databases up-to-date with the latest information. Plus, these paid survey scam artists will say that it also a way to separate the riff-raff from the people who are truly serious about earning an income from home.

What these companies don’t tell you is that all the information in their database that you just paid a registration fee to access is information you can find on your own - for free! They justify that they do all the work for you so that you can access the paid survey information from one place. Another part of these scams is something you don’t find out until after you have shelled out the money. More often than not, the biggest scam of all from these jokers is that they have a lot of non-paying survey sites listed in their database. In addition, their information is not always up to date. They could be listing paid survey companies that no longer exist!

Another scam that these companies perpetuate includes selling your personal information to a number of marketing companies. The next thing you know, the number of telemarketing calls to your home increases. You will also likely get more hang-up calls and automated recordings. Your email inbox starts filling up with spam. The junk mail factor increases exponentially at your home too. You will start to receive chain letters with all sorts of scams and business opportunities in which you never requested information. The ramifications of all this junk can last for a long time.

Another red flag that can put you on alert are those paid survey companies that claim you can earn a full-time income just filling out surveys and forms online. Any company claiming that is a scam artist. As mentioned before with these scams, it is practically impossible to earn a full-time income. These surveys are based on demographics, which mean that not everyone will qualify for every available survey. Sure, there are a few surveys that will pay a few hundred dollars to qualified participants, but those are rare. If you even qualify for one of the paid surveys, the money you get is more like one dollar upward to twenty dollars – extra pocket change for the most part.
An additional indicator of paid survey scams is an unprofessional website. You might find numerous misspelled words or poor grammar. Weird character symbols in odd places and broken hyperlinks also hint at the scam factor. Poor website navigation and lack of contact information can be added to the list. The same goes for the lack of security. With secure websites where you input personal information or make payments, you will likely see a little lock icon at the bottom of your screen. If it is missing, click that computer mouse the other direction.

There is some good news on the paid survey front. Quite a few legitimate websites exist where you can access directories filled with information about a variety of survey companies. There are no hidden fees or fine print which translates into a scam-free zone and no charge to access the information!

These legitimate paid survey directories also do not false advertise. They will not claim a full-time income like many of the scams online do these days. Rather, they are realistic and fully disclose that full-time income is very rare. These directories will further tell you (unlike the scam artists) that the more paid survey companies you sign up with, the more likely you will qualify to participate in one.

To recap, paid surveys are a fun way to earn a few extra dollars but it will never make a profound impact on your wallet. Scams are abundant, so keep in mind the factors listed above that can help you spot a fake. Above all, just remember that you should never, ever have to pay for information that you can get for free elsewhere.


*This article was written by Rob Johnson 17/06/2006, Rob has been successfully taking online and offline Paid Surveys in Australia for over 2 years and is also the webmaster of http://www.australianfreepaidsurveys.com, a free frequently  updated list of over 200 Paid Survey companies available to Australians.



 

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