Are paid online surveys for real?


I was planning to try working at home doing "paid surveys" online. They are asking me to install several programs that I don’t know anything about. Is it safe?

- Patti


This question was answered on January 21, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The Internet has opened up many options for those that want to work from home, but the reality is that there are more scam artists than legitimate operations when it comes to real opportunities.

The overwhelming majority of web sites that claim that you can make big money just for simply filling our surveys are not quite telling you the whole story.

In fact, most of them will simply put you on a mailing list of web sites that are claiming to give random prizes away for participating in the surveys or a ‘chance’ at making some large hourly rate.

Any site that is asking you to install ‘special software’ in order to participate in a paid survey system sounds suspicious to me I would also avoid any site that wants you to pay a small ‘fee’ in order to get the information you need to make the ‘big money’.

You will most likely be out whatever you paid and even worse, you will be labeled as a ‘sucker’ and passed on to other scam companies so that they can prey on you.

Not only do you stand the risk of divulging your personal contact information to thousands of marketing companies, you will likely end up installing an adware or spyware program in addition that will track your every move and send you pop-ups, not to mention the potential computer problems.

If you do a little research on the Internet about paid survey sites (look in forums), you will see lots of people that have had very poor experiences with many of the sites, especially the ones that claim that you can make big money.

The more likely outcome of your involvement with these types of sites is that you will spend a lot of time giving them lots of information about you and get small rewards (if any) in return.

Your marketing profile and contact information is actually what they are trying to get from you so that they can go to large marketing firms and sell access to you on a targeted basis.

For instance, if the survey is about cars, one of the most likely questions that you will be asked is if you plan to make a purchase in the next 6 months For all those that answer yes, the marketing company can sell access to you (generally via e-mail, which you have already pre-approved because you signed up for the surveys) to the various car companies that would like to pitch a car deal to you.

This whole ‘make big money on the Internet’ routine falls squarely into the classic ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is’ box Whatever you do, don’t expect to make a living on paid survey sites.

It’s not that every online survey company or opportunity to make money on the Internet is a scam; it just isn’t that easy to separate the legitimate companies from the shams, so be very cautious!

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on January 21, 2005