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Hacks to spot sham survey sites like a pro

Paid surveys are a great way to make some extra money while online. However, people can easily fall for scammers if they are not careful.

Photo by <a href="">Jud Mackrill</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash

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No one can deny that paid surveys help brands gain concrete feedback from the public. They are also a great way to make some extra money while online. However, it is also true that people can easily fall for scammers if they are not careful. Identity thieves and fake money-making websites or apps use online paid survey clickbaits to steal information from unsuspecting users. Therefore, knowing how to make money online through surveys without being scammed is very important.

Red Flags: Clear Signs of Survey Sites You Cannot Trust

Divulging too much of your personal information online will cost you dearly. Think twice if you realize any website or app requires that from you. If you have fallen victim to the calculated ploy, delete your account immediately and take other security measures. The following red flags can help you shift through the mess and land a trusted survey opportunity.

A Demand for Too Much Personal Information

Legit survey sites ask new users for basic information and demographic details to match them with relevant surveys. Never disclose any personally identifiable information on platforms, even if you have used them for a while. It will expose you to identity theft and fraud. The thought of your government ID, home address, or social security number landing in the wrong hands should scare you stiff when looking to make a little extra cash from paid online surveys. Don’t be a victim – guard your information like gold.

Very Bad User Reviews

Exploring random survey sites will expose you to scams and other online threats. Reading third-party reviews is the best way of testing these sites. Try by all means to ascertain that you are reading legitimate reviews. For instance, random blogs and affiliate marketing platforms may give you a biased view, but you can find helpful insights on Trustpilot and Reddit.

Scantily Available Company Information

Apart from standalone reviews, you can gauge trusted sites using accumulated years of experience completing paid online surveys. Look at the business model, scrutinize the parent company, and examine the cash-out options. The rule of thumb is that most legitimate online survey sites will partner with research companies. They pay their users well and get the tasks from the source, while fraudsters scrape orders from third parties to entice the gullible.

Subscription or Signup Fees

Some so-called premium survey websites will hoodwink people into paying for a subscription. They promise to provide more tasks and hook you up with priority orders and higher payouts to justify the charges. Avoid these sites at all costs though they may sound tempting. Crooks will hide spyware and phishing pages in such shady freelance gigs. Never disclose banking details online, and run for your life the next time a site asks you to pay for a limited offer to access more orders and higher payouts.

Overwhelming Number of Spam Emails After Account Creation

Even though spam emails are regular, 2.5% of them are scams. Spam mails expose tech users to one hacking attempt for every 40 emails. Create a new email address for paid surveys instead of using your personal email to ensure you lose nothing when your email is compromised.

Vague Privacy Disclosure Agreement (Or a Lack Thereof)

Any site that will handle your sensitive data is a dangerous zone. Many people avoid reading lengthy privacy contracts and end up with regrets. Peruse the data collection, storage, and use policies before signing up. It is better to know the information companies collect from you and share. It is advisable to access survey sites through browsers instead of extensions unless they are on trusted apps and websites. Never blindly agree to the terms and conditions.

Exaggerated Promises and Claims

Skip any app or website that makes unrealistic claims. Shady platforms bait unsuspecting users with fake profits to gain access to personal information. It is prudent to manage your expectations because even known survey platforms are only good as a side hustle you can do in your free time. The surveys are limited, and you may only qualify for a maximum of five per day. You can expect to make around $2 to $10 per completed survey.

Due Diligence Will Save You Time and Effort

The economy is tough, with inflation on the rise. How does one manage the high cost of living? You should consider signing up for paid online surveys to make some money on the side legitimately. However, beware that cybercriminals may lurk on these platforms, and be careful with the information you divulge. Stay vigilant to recognize and prevent cyber-attacks. It is vital to stick to credible and well-known platforms any day. Make sure you research well because some side gigs may not be what they seem. That is the challenge you must overcome when operating within the tech world.

Digital Journal
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