How familiar are you with the digital economy in this modern age? Perhaps not as much as you think. The internet has opened doors for millions across the globe, making it easier to earn a living. You probably already make some extra bucks working online, and you have most definitely heard of paid online surveys, no?
In truth, most companies use surveys for market research, making this venture a legitimate avenue to earn an honest penny. For a few minutes of your time, businesses interested in your feedback offer payment in cash, redeemable points, or gift cards. It’s probably one of the easiest ways to earn money online.
What Risks Are Involved?
While there are almost an infinite number of reputable survey platforms on the internet, malicious scammers and other cybercriminals recognize the survey space as a niche ripe for preying on unaware individuals scouring the internet for extra income. But guess what? Even a knowledgeable individual such as yourself could fall victim!
Admittedly, the most significant risk online surveys pose to the user is identity theft, as these websites will have your key to your personal information. It’s all part of the process, though. And, of course, your data remains secure and anonymous in a legitimate platform, but can you imagine the horror of handing over your details to a scammer? As such, there is a need to know what to look out for to distinguish a legitimate survey website from an illegitimate one, as we discuss below.
Red Flags: What to Look For
Typically, most online survey platforms operate similarly. You fill out your profile on sign-up, then the site uses the details you provide to recommend surveys that are the best match for you in relation to their clients’ marketing research needs.
Other sites may have you complete a questionnaire or two to gather more information for more straightforward survey recommendations. That being said, the information these companies collect is minimal. If you have any doubts, you need to watch out for the following red flags.
The Website Promises a Large Payout
While there’s no denying you can earn money through online surveys, these websites are by no means your ticket to financial freedom. Survey platforms offer a small amount of money relative to the time you invest in voicing your opinions on different products and services.
As such, any website offering a large payout is, more often than not, an illegitimate one. Cybercriminals use these huge amounts to lure you in, and before you know it, they’ve taken off with your private information.
The Platform Is Keen on Confidential Personal Information
As we’ve already discussed, any survey website worth its salt will ask for some personal information on sign-up. But how much leeway do you have on this front? Of course, details such as your name, email, and home address are okay, but what if the site adamantly asks for more specific information? If that’s the case, the obvious conclusion is that a scammer is waiting for you to slip up on the other side.
Do not, for any reason, share your credit card numbers, bank account information, social security number, or driver’s license information. Also, refrain from sharing specific details regarding your place of work, as scammers could use them to target your employer.
The Websites Solicits Money From You
If you ever come across a platform asking you to pay a fee to access paid surveys, run away from it! Sure, you may think that the amount the website wants you to pay is a drop in the ocean, but have you thought of a million or more people across the globe with a similar school of thought?
If everyone were to pay that “small fee,” scammers would be smiling all the way to the bank daily! What’s more, giving this money does not guarantee payouts once you’ve completed your surveys and reached the cash-out threshold.
Missing Information Regarding Payment
For reputable online paid survey websites, clear and concise details concerning the platform’s payment system are available to everyone on the internet, whether they have signed up or not. If you cannot find these particulars on a site you are interested in, avoiding it will be in your best interest. Do the same if the details provided seem ambiguous, sketchy, or contradictory.
If we’re being honest, scammers have been making a killing in the online surveys space. All the same, legitimate survey platforms that reward users for their time exist. To make money from survey jobs, you must be wise in avoiding these pitfalls scammers put out for the unaware.