Paid Online SurveysOnline surveys often sound too good to be true. You can get paid for sitting at your computer and watching commercials? You can get movie tickets and chocolate bars delivered straight to your door for no charge?

The answer to both of these questions is yes, but only if you’re using the right sites. For every legitimate online survey company, there are dozens more that are scams just waiting to weasel you out of your credit card information.

If you’d like to make real, honest cash through paid surveys, here are a few ways to sniff out the fakes.

1. Do They Charge?

If they ask for a single penny, they’re trying to rip you off. In the world of free paid online surveys, “free” is the operative keyword. Just exit the site entirely if they start demanding your bank information or private financial data.

2. What’s Their System?

Most survey sites run on a points system where you’re required to earn a certain amount before you can convert them to money and cash out. Some companies, however, will keep you chasing that pot of gold forever. Look at their minimum payout requirements and then the average number of points awarded per survey. If you need 10,000 to redeem but you only bank 100 for every survey, you’ll be answering questions for a long, long time before you see any green.

3. How Do They Pay?

Let’s say you’ve found a free survey site with a good, honest points system. How will they be delivering your money after you’ve made it? There are really only two acceptable options: PayPal or a check mailed from the company itself. Anything else, like a site asking for your bank account number to “directly deposit” your funds, is probably just an elaborate scam.

4. Are They On Social Media?

Fake companies are terrified of social media. They don’t want their victims to start getting together and spreading the truth about their scheme. So it’s a good sign when a survey site freely advertises on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, like MySurvey or In general, this means they have nothing to hide.

5. Do They Have Good Reviews?

In the same vein as above, the easiest way to tell if an online survey site is legit is by typing their name into a search engine and seeing what pops up. Other people have been where you are, clicking through their program and wondering if they’re for real, so there should be plenty of word-of-mouth about their speed, legitimacy, survey quality, et cetera. Do your homework and you should be able to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.

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  1. I’ve always wondered about those online surveys. I think the concept is great, but right now they aren’t really worth it for me. I have a hard enough time focusing as it is, and I think I would get so caught up in filling out surveys to get paid that I wouldn’t get my priority items done. If these are still around when retire though, I will be all over them!

    1. It can be difficult to make some money with surveys. I have met a few people that do them all of the time and make a good chunk of change. It just takes time.

  2. Doing odd jobs like this is fine and all but I wonder why people decide to go this route to earn cents. You can easily stat up a Fiverr gig and you have the potential to earn thousands and use those funds to build an online business.

    Personally, I find sites like Swagbucks and MyLikes never worked for me.

    Just my thoughts 🙂

    1. I appreciate your thoughts Chris. The sites never really worked for me, but I have met quite a few people that do well with them. It just depends on the person.

  3. My wife used to do online surveys in her spare time at work (which she had TONS of), but after having kids they aren’t very feasible any more. You can definitely earn some extra dough this way.

    1. I’ve tried doing online free surveys once or twice, I just can’t stomach spending excessive time to earn 10 cents. Yes, 10 cents is all you earn sometimes. Then there is the qualifying for surveys etc. The potential is there to earn money, but like you said, if you have kids or other things demanding your time and attention, this isn’t a feasible route to take.

      1. I wouldn’t pick those types of surveys. There are some out there that pay a lot more, but you have to be willing to find them. They are harder to get as well.

    2. Well, having kids can really put a damper on everything. There isn’t much time for anything anymore. Creating a schedule is the best that we can do.

  4. I spent a lot of time doing online surveys when I was in my early years of college, just to make a few extra dollars. The payout was so little that it was a bit depressing, though. I would much rather work a few hours a week at a store or something.

  5. Sounds worth checking out, if I can avoid the scams. I’m not sure how quickly I’d get tired of it, but only one way to find out!

  6. What I like about paid online surveys is that it is easy money but I hate that there are scammers. I hate how they fool people and make us do things without getting paid. It just sucks a lot. Good thing I read about your article and I also read about the same topic on so I’m aware now how to spot a scammer and illegal sites! Thanks for this 🙂