Don’t Get Caught Up in Survey Schemes

BBB Consumer Alerts
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Surveys are widely used today to measure consumers’ satisfaction and shopping habits. They are also advertised as an easy way to make some quick money. Most consumers will see advertisements on social media outlets, receive an email with an invitation, or get a card through the mail requesting they complete the survey. But how do you know if you can trust the company conducting the survey with your information? The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama provides tips to help you evaluate surveys before providing your information.

 Ask yourself these questions when considering a survey:

 Who is conducting the survey? Companies who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Many survey scam websites do not provide any information at all regarding their business. A legitimate market research business should willingly disclose information about who they are, where they are, their company history and survey information with phone numbers that you can call if you have questions.

  • Is there a privacy policy? Survey panels should list the ways they use your information and will display this in the form of a privacy policy. Any website missing this important information should be avoided.
  • Do they make promises that sound too good to be true? If a website promises that you can earn a living taking online surveys, it is most likely fraudulent. Reasonable compensation for surveys is usually awarded to panelists, but taking surveys is not a major money-making option. Websites promising otherwise should be thoroughly investigated.

Surveys can typically take anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour. Most survey companies will require the participant to provide their personal information before allowing them access to their surveys. Once access has been gained, most surveys will require the participant to answer a few qualifying questions. If the participant does not qualify, they will not be allowed to take the survey and will have to search for others that they qualify for. A majority of participants take surveys to earn extra money, however, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Most surveys only pay .50 cents to $1 and they company will not pay out until a certain threshold is met – typically a minimum of $20.

If you ever have a question about who is conducting a survey or how the information will be used, remember that you can always call the company conducting the survey directly. Be sure to use contact information for the company that you trust, rather than relying on the phone number listed on the survey or by the representative.

Source: Better Business Bureau of North Alabama

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to

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