Why Online Surveys Can Be Frightening
Let's face it. The Internet is a lot like this great, dark cavern we enter not knowing what's going to come flying at us at any given moment and snap up our personal information. As it continues to flourish, increasing daily in size and the number of users, the anxiety and raw suspicion, even dread grow with it. People are afraid of the Internet, certain that a scammer is lurking out there ready to relieve them of their cash and valuable personal information. This has reared up to hurt the online survey companies, who do all they can to prevent this from affecting their workers, yet sometimes find themselves being scammed.
Here's a sample of some of the most common scams out there:
In these kinds of scams, contact is usually made through email, and the scammers claim to be a well known and trusted company, then set out to obtain sensitive and personal information like usernames, passwords, addresses, and even more. Unfortunately, legitimate survey companies are having their names hijacked by these con artists, who use their contact information and logo in the email while trying to “phish” for information from their employees.
Some of the warning signs you can look out for are: links which fail to point to the survey company's website, emails filled with bad spelling and grammar, emails suddenly being flagged by your email provider, or being asked out of the blue to “confirm your account”.
Sometimes lucky people will receive a check for a huge amount of money from their survey company. That's just great. It also happens to be a fake. Usually, the check will arrive along with instructions on wiring money to the Western Union. It's a scam!
Warning signs to watch for are: the arrival of an unexpected check for a huge amount, instructions to wire money, poor spelling and grammar, odd subject matter like “mystery shopping assignment”, and the surveys having multiple logos of various companies shown in the letter.
Information Not Private
When joining a new online survey panel, it’s vital for you to be certain that the website you're joining is run by a marketing research company, and not a marketing company. The difference will blow you away.
Marketing companies are the ones causing most of the trouble. You may be surprised to learn that they do not really carry out any surveys, and will just up and take your information and sell it to one or more third parties. That's why when people unknowingly sign up to one of these sites, their inboxes get flooded with SPAM.
Market research companies are operated by real researchers who carry out real surveys and treat the results with great respect. Your personal information will never be sold to any third party. This is because their memberships to different market research organizations prevent this. These companies often run multiple survey panels in various countries and have a corporate website where you can find more about the company if you desire.
Moving Ahead Worry Free
As long as you're sure the survey website you decide to become a member of is legitimate, there’s nothing to be concerned about. Here’s a list of tips to keep yourself safe:
- Don’t sign up with a new survey company who has contacted you by e-mail
- Do find companies on your own to join via websites like Daily Paid Surveys, that host a list of legitimate panels
- Don’t fall for a Nigerian scam. If you receive an unexpected check in the mail Promptly report such scams to your local authorities
- Don’t be naive and trust everyone you meet online
By following these steps, you can put your mind at ease and concentrate fully on taking rewarding online surveys!