Avoiding Online Survey Scams and Market Research Fraud
Taking online paid surveys is a fun way to help influence products and services and make the world a
better place while also getting rewarded for your time and effort. There are many opportunities to
participate in market research surveys online, but not all services are created equal, and it's
important to know what to look for to make sure you are dealing with a reputable service that will keep
your personal information safe and keep its promises when it comes time for you to get
Below is a guide outlining some things you may wish to to consider when making a decision about whether a market research panel is legitimate and worth your time
1. Security is important
When you register to create an account with any website, it's important that you know they are taking the proper steps to secure your account, which will hold your personal information as well as your accumulated earnings. Any website that takes security seriously should always use a secure connection and work with third party auditing companies like Norton to keep up-to-date with the latest vulnerabilities.
TIP: These links are almost always found in the footer area of a website
4. Beware of "too good to be true"
Market research pays real money, but is not a substitute for a full-time job, and you shouldn't expect to earn enough to buy a yacht. Online surveys that pay $50 or even $100 do exist, but are not common. Most surveys pay between $1 and $20 each. In short, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical of any website or market research panel that sets your expectations for life-changing sums of money. There should also be a clear indication of how and when you can expect to be paid.
5. Be wary of fraudulent review
Review sites can be helpful, but they also can be very tricky. If you're searching for reviews of a market research website, avoid review sites that lack substantiated evidence and offer alternative sites using indirect links. These sites make money by encouraging potential panelists to join whichever panel will pay them the most for a referral.
*TIP: These sites often have very long and oddly specific url names
6. Do they have a support center or contact
Every market research panel should have a support center that features a "frequently asked questions" section as well as a way to either submit a support ticket or chat with a specialist.
Make sure the market research panel you're considering joining:
- Uses a secure connection
- Has security audited by a third party
- Shows compliance as reviewed by a third party
- Has an easy to find support center
- Has a clear method of contacting someone for help
- Has an active presence on popular social media websites
- Does not promise "windfall" earnings
- Has clear indication of payment terms