Paid Survey Scams
People are finding numerous ways to earn money by having minimal efforts to put in. There is one such opportunity that is circulating around online, in the name of "Paid Surveys". This sounds really interesting to a common man who thinks that he will get paid by filling out surveys online. The concept of paid surveys is very simple. A company that requires a survey to be done or reviews to be posted in order to arrive at a consolidated conclusion will want users to answer by filling out questionnaires online. As it is difficult to get users fill them legitimately, some companies choose to hire candidates and pay them for filling out online surveys about them. But is it really possible to earn money with paid online surveys?
The answer is a big clear no. Even though there are legitimate companies out there that are willing to pay a minimal amount for market research done through online surveys, not all the paid surveys are genuine. It is reported that majority of the companies running paid surveys are scammers. Scammers take advantage of these schemes and run bogus companies that appear to be legitimate and promise you quick money with little efforts.
For participants of online paid surveys, it is imperative to know that these paid surveys have become havens for internet scam artists. Internet scammers are looking for different opportunities to target and cheat the innocent victims.
How paid survey scam operates:
Paid survey scammers approach users online via emails, sending them a paid survey opportunity that appears to be too good for the victim. The fraudster's claim that you need to spend a few hours and you will earn a generous sum of money by filling out online surveys. But the deal here is that you need to pay a very low price initially to learn how to fill out online surveys.
The aim of the scammers in paid survey scam is to get thousands of people paying the "low price" initially to learn how to fill out the online surveys. Users might think that it is an initial investment that can make them earn a lot of money in the long run. But this is an illegal technique adopted by paid survey scammers to swindle money from the huge number of people.
Multiple dangers to paid survey scams:
Victims of paid survey scams not only lose their money in the name of the low price initial fee, but also hold a risk to their personal information. Scammers pass on the email address and personal information to scam agencies that target their victims by sending emails.
Ways to avoid becoming a victim of paid survey scam:
- Never agree to fill surveys that require you to pay an initial fee to learn how to fill out the survey.
- Always examine the privacy statements and disclaimers and read them carefully.
- Try to get in touch with users who have already worked for the same company, filling out online surveys.
The below is an extract from Wikipedia that shows a screenshot of an advertisement of paid surveys online. Scammers use attractive amounts and flexible working times that lure the users to at least try these paid online surveys. To build the very thought to try in the mind of many users is the ultimate aim of these scammers. When many people approach these paid online survey companies, they are asked to pay a nominal fee, which would be then refunded to the users. The scammers lure the users by saying that the registration fee is collected as a part of training fee that will be paid back to them on their first payment. Innocent users who are looking for jobs desperately believe these scammers and deposit the registration fee. Many websites are making the users ware of these types of paid online survey scams that users need to beware of.
Example Emails That Invite Users for Paid Online Survey Jobs:
The below mentioned screenshots are examples from three different online paid survey companies that advertise and target users by sending emails along with fake testimonials that lure the user to take up online surveys. They charge a very small amount from the user, like $35, $39, $34 etc. these are commonly used prices by online paid survey companies. The ultimate aim of these online paid survey companies is to reach out to many users who would pay this small amount that becomes huge for the scammer. In the end, the users who have registered for these online paid survey jobs do not receive any money for the work done, nor do they receive the initial fee back which they paid as a part of registration.
Red flag points:
- The mails are all framed in a similar format
- The price is a nominal value with a stress on money back guarantee
- Testimonials appear to be too good to be true
- The email stresses on limited period offer asking to register as soon as possible
- Big cash surveys, paid surveys and survey scout are popular companies offering online paid survey's that users need to beware of.
- The email is centered on the link to pay the registration amount at the earliest.
Here is another example of online paid survey Scam Company. All these companies follow a similar format to send emails to a huge target of audience. The mention in bold in the mail about the money back guarantee, but when the user tries to claim their money back, there is no trace of such a company as these scammers roll out fake addresses and send emails from fake email ids.