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Identifying Survey Scams

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Constant Vigilance. There are villains lurking around every corner just waiting to catch you off guard. In your quest to expand your online survey options, I must caution you to be on the lookout for scams. Remember this: PC FIT = Privacy. Contact. Fee. Income. Testimonials.

Privacy policy — If the online panel you are considering does not have a privacy policy posted anywhere on their website, proceed with caution. Privacy policies are where companies tell you what they will and will not do with your information, like sell it off so that your inbox is spammed with poorly written emails from Nigerian princes in need of your help and ads for sexual enhancement pills.

Contact methods — Scour that website. Is there a phone number? An email? If the website has no way for you to contact anyone with questions or concerns, be wary. Batman might not have a Facebook but at least he has the bat signal as his contact method.

Fee required — Any panel that needs a fee to join, for you to purchase a membership kit, or pay for mandatory training should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Yes, online panels will ask you all sorts of questions for your profile, but they should not be asking for your credit card information.

Income claims — Is the site boasting that you will be able to make $30,000 a year? These excessively specific statements about income are just blowing smoke. Can you earn money from taking online surveys? Absolutely. Can you live off of that money alone? Probably not.

Testimonials — “I got my first check in just three days.” “I made $300 in just one day.” Sound outrageous? That’s because it is. These are just not realistic outcomes. Gross exaggerations in the testimonials are just another red flag.

It’s so cliché but it bears repeating. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Don’t let your desire to do more surveys and make more money be your kryptonite and let you fall victim to the scammers out there. Have standards, play hard to get, and remember PC FIT.

Be on guard, Point Clubbers!

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