Online 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 Swagbucks.com. 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.
Image courtesy of nongpimmy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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