Paid Surveys Scams Exposed : 10 Ways to Spot and Avoid Survey Scams

Paid surveys are an important part of all companies market research strategies as they allow them to find out what their customers really think about their products or services. This in turn allows you the consumer to earn some extra money in the process by providing them with your opinions. However wherever there is a legitimate way to make money online there will always be a scammer lurking around the corner.

To help you safely navigate market research sites and only sign up with the ones that will actually pay you real cash we’ve exposed the paid survey scams. In this post you will learn 10 ways of how to spot and then avoid the paid survey scammers that are trying to destroy a legitimate industry.

Spotting Survey Scammers

Before we get to specific survey scams it may be worth reading this page from the UK Trading Standards website that explains how to avoid work from home scams, how to get your money back if you have been conned into giving your credit card details online and how to avoid many other types of online scams. It also explains where you can report misleading / fraudulent websites if you feel you have been conned.

Back to the topic at hand. The 3 points below help to teach you how to avoid ‘survey sites’ which will not pay you for your time and efforts and 9 times out of ten are only interested in taking your hard earned cash.

1. If it sounds to good to be true then it probably is!

This speaks for itself and is the same online or in any real world situation. If you come across a ‘survey site’ that is offering you thousands of pounds month from taking surveys then steer well clear. It is of course possible to earn some extra money or gift vouchers from paid surveys but you would never earn thousands every month.

2. Never pay to take surveys

Market research companies are literally crying out for people to take surveys online. They are looking to reward you for your time and efforts not the other way round. Any website that is asking for money off you is definitely a scam and should be avoided like the plague.

3. Never pay for a list of survey sites

You should never hand over your credit / debit card details for a list of hundreds of survey sites. These ‘lists’ are all freely available online at sites such as this one or can be found with a few searches on Google. On top of this by paying for a list the scammer will give you a list of scam sites where your details will not be protected and passed onto many third party companies.

How to Avoid Survey Scams and Find Legitimate Market Research Companies

Now you have learnt how to spot survey scam websites the following 7 points will teach you how to avoid scammers and find real market research websites where you will actually earn some extra money.

1. Check the T&C’s and Privacy Policy

Real market research sites will have at a bare minimum a fine print page which contains their terms and conditions and privacy policy. It may be boring to read these but it definitely gives you peace of mind that you are dealing with a real company. The privacy policy will also explain how your personal data will be protected and not sold to third parties.

Of course a paid survey scam website could have these but it will most likely just be cut and pasted from a different website and will look fairly obvious that it isn’t real. Some signs that the terms and conditions could be fake will include mentioning a different website’s URL, including another company’s physical address or mentioning PO boxes.

2. Check the Testimonials

It’s a well known fact that both legitimate and fake sites use testimonials so rather than having a quick scan over them take a closer look. Look out for fake author names or anything else that doesn’t look right and if it seems weird then get off that site.

3. Check the User Reviews

When looking at user reviews like testimonials you should look out for anomalies. Fake user reviews are a lot easier to spot than fake testimonials. Once again you should look for fake or silly author names. You should check the date if its available to see if all the reviews were all posted on the same or days very close to each other. You may also find websites that have posted fake comments then closed the comments so no further reviews can be posted. Some sites may even publish fake star ratings or put up phoney award logos which should be easy to spot and can be checked online.

4. Check online forums

A great places to find legit survey sites is online forums where other people can give you tips on which ones to join and how much they have actually earned. However once again shrills and scammers do exist on forums. 9 times out of 10 they will pretend to help people whilst trying to push their own ‘wonderful opportunities’ which they are being paid for. On most of the bigger forums these posts will be deleted by moderators but people will still be influenced until their removal.

5. Perform a Whois Lookup

You can perform a Whois Lookup (Wikipedia) on any website to find out what company has registered it. If there’s is a physical name and address there then 9 times out of 10 the website will be owned by a legitimate company. However some domains may have been registered by proxy or will have paid to hide their information. If the information on the Whois, is private then you should proceed with caution.


In conclusion it’s important to remember than although you can legitimately earn a little extra money by taking online surveys you definitely won’t become a millionaire. You should always be on the lookout for genuine survey panels that do not offer you fake promises or anything else that looks suspicious. By doing this you should be able to earn a little extra cash and vouchers each month from the comfort of your own home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *