Survey sites are a popular way to make some extra money online, as it is possible for anyone to participate. Unfortunately, that has also led to many survey scams, where you will end up loosing money instead of making money.
I have tested many survey sites, and in this article I will tell you how to avoid survey scams by looking for the right signs.
This will help you to be able to easily figure out if a survey site is legit or a scam.
What is a survey scam?
Before getting into which signs to look for to identify a scam, lets first talk a bit about what a survey scam is and what the purpose of these sites are.
There are different kind of survey scams. In my experience these can be divided into mainly three categories:
- Sites that will trick money out of you
- Sites that aim to get your contact information to sell to a third party
- Sites that are just a waste of time
The last point on the list, I would actually not necessarily classify as a scam. Some sites just have very limited surveys available in a certain country, and they can therefore feel like a waste of time. That does not necessarily make them a scam, and they might work very well for others.
Then there are the sites that are made for scamming money out of you. Those are the ones that are important to learn to identify and stay away from. So let’s look at how to identify these scam sites.
How to identify a survey scam site?
Luckily the survey scam sites most often have certain signs that gives away that they are not legit. This list is some of the most common signs, so be aware of these:
- It costs money to participate:
This is one of the clear signs a survey site is a scam. Legit survey sites will always be free to sign up for. So if you have to pay to register for a site, you should not sign up.
Some sites only charges very little for you to sign up. It can therefore be tempting to sign up and pay for example $5 as there is not much to lose. But do not pay anything. These sites know many people will consider if the price is very low, and if they get many people to sign up for this, they will still end up making good money and providing nothing in return.
Another trick is that you are promised a list of the highest paying survey sites, and as soon as you have paid you will receive this. There is no need to pay to get a list of paying survey sites. You can easily find them without paying (you can for example check out my top 10 list), and these lists that you pay for, will not be worth it anyway. They are just standard lists, and the person behind has never tested any of the sites or done any research about them. So do not fall for the promise of a list with high paying survey sites in return for money.
- Promise to teach you “the secret”:
We all like to get the secret recipe to get rich. Some sites promise you that once you have joined (and paid), they will teach you the secret about how to get rich or make a full time income from surveys, and with very little effort. Do not believe this. There is no secret to get rich from surveys, as you in general cannot become rich from doing surveys, and they will not be able to teach you the secret. Sites like this are instead trying to become rich by getting you to pay for a secret that does not really exist.
- No about page:
People behind a scam usually prefer to be anonymous, and therefore there will rarely be an about page on these sites, and also not a way to contact the person behind the page. That there is not an about page does not necessarily mean that the site is a scam, but it is one of the signs to look for. And if you see many small signs, that should tell you to stay away from the site.
- Promise you can become rich:
As mentioned above, survey sites will not make you rich. They can give you some nice extra pocket money, but not the amounts that some sites promise. So if you see a site that promises that you can make several hundreds or even several thousand dollars a week, resist the temptation to join as you will just be dissapointed and probably end up paying for a membership that is worth nothing.
- Survey calculator:
I have noticed that on many of the survey scam sites, they use the same survey calculator. It is a calculator where you can see how much you can make depending on how many surveys you will take a day. Be aware that the results you get from this calculator are useless. There are no guarantee that you will be able to take this amount of surveys or for the reward you can chose in the calculator (which the sites also mention in very small writing below the calculator).
- Only few spots left:
If you see a sign up box where it says that the site only have a few spots left, do not think you have to hurry to sign up. This trick is used on scam sites to get you to pay and sign up before you have the time to think about it. If you check the site again a few days (or even weeks) later, it will probably still say “only few spots left”. It is a standard message that will always be there.
- Exaggerated testimonials:
You might see videos on some sites with people that supposedly are members of the site already and tell about their experiences. They will tell you about how much money they make and how it has changed their life to now be able to make a lot of money from home by doing more or less nothing. The videos might even include pictures of them on the beach, in their nice cars, or with big amounts of money. These videos can be quite convincing, but let me just repeat – you will not become rich from surveys. The people in these videos are actors and it is fake testimonials.
- Fake sample survey:
There are a number of scam sites that are using a sample survey to lure you in. It is often a very short one you can do in max 5 minutes by just ticking some boxes, and claims that surveys like this will earn you $15-20. This is a very unrealistic payment for a 5 minutes easy survey. I am not saying that you will never get a survey like this, but it will be very rarely, if ever. It is not a real example, but made to look like you can make very good money in very little time.
- Money back guanrantee:
Many of the scam sites promise a money back guanrantee. A money back guarantee is of course not in itself a sign of a scam. Many legit services and products offer this. The problem with the guanrantee on the scam sites are, that it just says money back guanrantee. But who gives this guarantee? It is very easy to make a nice looking stamp to put on a website to make it look legit, but that does not mean it is. So if a site offers a money back guarantee, see if you can find more information about this on the site or elsewhere. If not, there is a good chance that it is just a pretty stamp and not an actually guanrantee.
Are all survey sites scams?
No, there are many legit and good survey sites where you can make some extra money. Most survey sites are not scams, but how good a site is to make money on depends on many things – first of all on where in the world you live. Some survey sites are only available, if you live in a certain country. But there are unfortunately also quite a few scam sites. If you look for the signs above, you should be able to avoid the scams and then you can try the legit ones to see which ones work best for you.
I also regularly do reviews of both legit and scam sites on this website, so if you are looking for information about a certain have a look around my site.
You can find many of the legit sites + reviews and advice for these on my list of the Top 10 paying survey sites.
If you have any questions or any experiences with a survey scam yourself, feel from to leave a comment below.