What is an Online Survey Scam?

An online survey scam lures participants with the promise of rewards, only to misuse their personal information or demand payment. It's a digital trap, cloaked in the guise of legitimate market research. Protecting your data is crucial in this age of constant connectivity. Have you ever considered the true cost of a 'free' reward? Join us to uncover the hidden risks.
G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

An online survey scam is a fraudulent business deal in which a person is typically offered a great deal of money simply for taking surveys over the Internet. The reality behind such scams is that online surveys rarely pay money, and if they do, they usually only pay about $3 US Dollars (USD) per survey. These online surveys also do not usually consist of only a few questions, but instead can involve dozens or hundreds of questions and require several hours to fully read through and properly answer. An online survey scam is usually created with the intent of getting a person to pay money for a service that is never truly provided.

With the proliferation of home computers and the Internet into so many homes across the world, there has been a tendency among many people to try to find a way to make money while at home and using the Internet. This has led to a number of scams that prey on the hopes of people wanting to find a way to make money without dealing with a demanding boss or unappreciative customers. An online survey scam is one way that people can be tricked out of their money and receive little or nothing in return.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Online surveys are surveys that are taken over the Internet and provide companies and website administrators with immediate information about their customers. These can be very real and useful aspects of numerous websites. They do not, however, often pay customers to fill out these surveys. There are exceptions to this, and some companies are contracted by larger companies to administer surveys to customers to gain information about services and products. These surveys, however, are often complex and lengthy and usually only pay a very small amount of money.

An online survey scam usually takes the form of an email or similar offer to provide someone with a list of websites or companies that offer high-paying survey opportunities. The problem is that a person has to pay to receive this list, and the list is usually fairly worthless or simply gives information that can be received for free through a little time and the use of search engines. Potentially more harmful, however, is the fact that an online survey scam can be used to gather private information about a person, such as name, address, and credit card information that can then be used to commit identity theft. Ultimately, any offer that sounds too good to be true usually is, and anyone interested in a company offering paid surveys should do some research into the company and try to be sure it is legitimate.

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Discussion Comments


Great post.

Perhaps I can just add to this that the best way to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions of any kind, Craigslist and eBay included—and whether seller or buyer—is to use a *bona fide* online escrow company. Especially for pricier items like antiques, jewelry and autos. Although it does add some cost, it takes the uncertainty out of the transaction, and that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Take care, Ulf Wolf

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