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How to tell if a survey company is a scam or legit
The idea of earning money from survey sites and market research is really appealing.
What's not to love about getting asked a few questions and being paid to give answers?
We know companies need to run focus groups. We know they need to test new products, new services, and new ideas like advertisements. As potential customers, our opinion matters.
But like anything else great in this world, there are thieves and scammers lurking around the corner ready to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
Ten years ago, most survey companies were clearly scams. Market research companies just weren't looking online to pad their survey pools. Nowadays, many market research companies are using the internet to get more responses. The legitimate companies are drowning out the scams, but the scams still exist. And the scammers now have models to copy so they look like legit companies!
The end result is that it's becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a scam.Want to earn extra money?
- InboxDollars - Earn cash directly for surveys, videos, TV, coupons, and more. Join Inboxdollars and get a $5 bonus
- Survey Junkie - Average survey payout is $0.50 to $3.00 and they've paid out $25 million. Join Survey Junkie Now
- Swagbucks - Earn money taking surveys, watching videos, shopping, and more. Get a $5 bonus to Join Swagbucks
- Ipsos iSay - One of the most respected survey companies, including product samples
Today, we're going to teach you how to tell the difference.
Do you want to see some real life examples of mystery shopping and work at home scams? Click here to see a breakdown of three separate scams – including how to identify them yourself and avoid getting scammed too.
What's a scam?
There are two types of scammy survey sites:
- Sites that just pitch you other products and services.
- Sites that make you pay to get surveys.
They lure you in with the promise of untold riches through market research but bait and switch it on you. In the first case, they make money off you when you sign up for other products or serices. In the second case, they get you to pay them.
The ones that make you pay to join are similar to the old “work at home” scams. Work at home scams are simple, the promise of “work” if you buy their “startup” package. Replace “work” with surveys and “startup” with membership fees and you have an old scam with a new facade.
In both cases, the companies will also take advantage of the juicy personal information you may have provided. To give you an idea of what happens, I defer to Troy Hunt, a security professional I last mentioned in “Why I Have a Secret Classified Email Address;” his post on how your data is used by giveaway sites (think of those “win a free iPad!” email submission sites) is must-read.Did you know you can win money playing games?
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How the Legitimate Survey Business Works
Before we get into how to determine if a survey opportunity is a scam, we need to understand how the legitimate market research business works.
A big well-known company (like a brand name consumer goods company) needs to do some market research or run a focus group. Both are expensive to do in person, as focus groups often pay $100+ for 60-90 minutes of work to a participant. You can only imagine how much the research company adds to the bill. Online surveys are much cheaper!
So those big companies hire a market research company to send out online surveys to folks with the right demographic target (age, income, marital status, geographic region, etc.). You have survey companies with enough business to run their own (Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, etc. ) and you have smaller companies who are there to fill in the gaps.
These second tier companies are often the ones you see listed all over the internet.
In some cases, the survey company only does surveys. These purists are often the closest to the market research companies. In others, there are a lot of other “point earning” activities you can do like “read email” or “watch videos” or “play games.” (more on this later)
I've been doing surveys for about six months from a variety of vetted companies and you start seeing the same names – Qualtrics, Samplicio.us (Federated Sample) – those are the main guys.
The tough part about market research is that it's an unpredictable business. It's unpredictable for the survey taker (you) because companies won't always want your opinion.
The result is that you get surveys irregularly but you earn a little cash along the way.
You won't feed your family with surveys but it can earn you a little extra to help pay bills and get further ahead financially.
If you want to see a list of confirmed websites that will pay you money, including paid survey sites, visit my page on 276+ websites that will pay you money. The list of survey sites is legitimate.
How the Scam Survey Business Works
The problem is that scam survey companies will prey on that trickle of money and suggest that they can send you a flood. They can't. They make those promises so you'll sign up.
Then what happens? They try to make money off you directly, rather than make money from market research companies by having you respond to surveys.
How do they make money off you? They send you offers, like entries into sweepstakes (enter your zip code and email for a chance to win a $500 Apples iTunes gift card!) or other scammier survey sites.
They'll send you offers of free samples or some other bribe to get you to enter in an email. All the while, earning about $1-3 per sign up (that's about the going rate for a double opt in email address).
Legitimate survey companies also face the problem of unpredictable surveys. Many of them have built up an entire ecosystem around the survey process to give you something to do if you don't have a survey. You see companies like Swagbucks (Swagbucks review) and InboxDollars (InboxDollars review) offer different ways to earn points if you don't have any surveys – some of these include offers.
The distinct difference between the two is that scam survey companies will often inundate you with offers immediately upon signup and without any suggestion that you'll get anything out of it. Legitimate companies set it up like a cashback or pointback scenario, sign up for this offer and get 500 points or $5, thus cutting you in on the commission they earn. You still need to do your research though, which I'll get into shortly.
For a scam survey business, you are the product.
Recently, I've been asked by many readers if Company X or Company Y is legitimate.
In many of those cases, the name of the company was legitimate. The person they were talking to or emailing with was not.
The scammer was pretending to be working at a legitimate survey company!
Identifying this is very hard but if you're asking questions, that's a good thing. Call the company and find out if that person is real and works for them. I discovered this type of scam after a reader, Casey, asked me about Taylor Research company in the comments below.
Someone pretending to be from Taylor emailed him from a GMail account, which set off alarms for Casey (good!). When he called Taylor Research, who is very real and respected, he discovered that everything was real except the person who contacted him and the number he was supposed to call. He was the 3rd person to report it and the police are investigating.
Trust your gut!
Who Can You Trust? (besides your gut)
It's hard to know who to trust before you sign up but I always look at the Better Business Bureau and see what their rating is, whether they have complaints, and what those complaints are about. One of the more popular sites, Swagbucks, has an A+ and 114 closed complaints in the last 3 years. 114 sounds like a lot but when you consider how many members it has and the time frame, ~3 a month is a low number.
Here are five survey companies I've signed up for and can confirm don't have any of the flags listed below.
Then start looking for these red flags:
- Never pay to join – Huge red flag, you should never be paying to join… legitimate companies spend a lot of money building their rosters because the more people they have, the more likely they can fill in those demographic gaps. They would never ask you to pay to join.
- Never give social security number, credit card information, or full address – There's really no need for any of that information. The most a company should ask for is general demographic information (age, sex, zip code, income, family, etc.), they don't need your full address and certainly not your social security number.
- If they force you to go through promotional offers before they show you anything – Some companies have added these other pieces, like watching movies and playing games, to the core survey offering. The reality is they only get so many surveys so to keep you an active member, they offer these others pieces. They don't make you wade through offers to get to surveys.
- They email you from an anonymous account – A legitimate company won't be emailing you from a @Gmail.com or @Yahoo.com or some other free email service. They will have their own business website with their own email address, like @wallethacks.com.
- Never take a big payment of any kind where you have to pay some of it back – A common scam is for someone to send you a big check and have you send them something back of value, either money or an expensive product. It's known as advance fee fraud and the check will bounce (after spending a few days looking like it's successfully cashed) after a few days, once you've already sent back money or items. Never do this.
- If it sounds too good… – The language companies use can tell you a lot about them. Scams will promise you hundreds or thousands of dollars a month or extremely high payouts on surveys. Your internal BS detector is very good, if you sense something is off then walk away.
Here's a survey site I find suspicious…
Here's the homepage… at first, nothing looks obviously suspicious about this company.
When you click on Get Started, the green box is replaced with a “letter” from “Patricia Johnson” with a form at the bottom for name and email. When you enter your name and email, you are sent to this screen where you watch a short video.
The video explains how “Kevin” makes hundreds or thousands of dollars making money sharing his opinion, from the comfort of his own home. The video explains how market research works, like I did in the paragraph above, and is completely accurate. The only complaint I have about the video is that it oversells how much these surveys pay and how much you can earn.
Watch long enough… and then this appears:
And that, my friends, is why I would never sign up for this site. They want you to pay for membership. Biggest red flag of them all.
The tricky part is that it's hard to know before you sign up! You might be tempted, after putting in your information and watching a video, to give it a try. What's the worst that can happen right?
Will you earn hundreds and thousands of dollars? Maybe.
Is it worth it? Maybe.
Would it shock you to know that this company is willing to pay a $26 commission for each person that signs up? 🙂
Final quick tips…
Here are some other ideas that can help:
- Always use a separate “survey only” email address – Some companies pay you to “read email” (which is code for they'll email you advertisements) and it can be a lot of email. Plus, if you end up accidentally signing up for a scam, you don't trash your regular email address.
- Set up a junk “tester” email address – If you are really worried, you can always set up a junk mail only “tester” email address (I have a gmail account I never check, specifically for this) to run through the sign up process once, just to make sure. Sometimes you can get away with using a temporary disposable email, like the ones offered through Guerrilla Mail, but sometimes sites will not allow you to sign up with a disposable email address.
- Check the BBB – If the name is extremely generic with lots of dashes, it'll be hard to find their company name. This itself is a bit of a red flag because most of the legitimate companies have real names to help with the branding. The ones with generic words don't want to stand out! For legitimate companies, it should be easy to find them on the Better Business Bureau.
- Check if they are affiliated with CASRO – The CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations) is the leading market and survey research organization.
If you find a survey company and aren't really sure whether they're legit, you can always email me and I can take a look. I can even be your guinea pig and sign up first. 🙂
Just send me an email with the name of the company and I'll take a peek.
List of Legit Survey Sites
This list includes the legitimate survey sites I know. If the company you're wondering about is on this list, you can be reasonably assured they're legitimate at the time of this writing. If they aren't on the list, they could still be legitimate just smaller (so I don't know about them). I just can't say either way. All these companies are on my list of ways to make money.
- SurveyJunkie Our Most Popular!
- Swagbucks Very Popular!
- Pinecone Research
- Opinion Outpost
If you want to share an experience (good or bad) you had with a market research company, let us know in the comments.
Experts suggested abolishing penalties for using software without a license
- Andrey Zlobin Editorial Forbes
The Institute for the Development of Entrepreneurship and Economics proposed introducing a moratorium on criminal liability in Russia for those who continue to use software whose licenses were refused to be renewed by foreign developers. Experts believe that it is not necessary to completely legalize the use of unlicensed software, but to determine the time for the transition to a new one
The Institute for the Development of Entrepreneurship and Economics offered to allow Russian businesses to use software for which the license has expired. He sent a letter to the Ministry of Digital Transformation with a request to develop a draft law on the introduction of a moratorium on criminal and administrative liability in the country for those to whom foreign developers refused to renew their licenses, Izvestia, which received access to the document, reported.
Finished reading here
The letter notes that “software stability is becoming a factor in food security”, while foreign suppliers refuse to renew licenses and stop servicing software products. The Russian IT sector is trying to take advantage of the "window of opportunity" and occupy the niches vacated by foreign players. But the transition to domestic solutions takes time. nine0005
As a result, 70% of Russian companies are experiencing difficulties, according to an August survey by the National Financial Research Agency (NAFI). 23% noted that difficulties do not allow companies to fully function.
Ekaterina Avdeeva, head of Delovaya Rossiya's Expert Center for Criminal Law Policy and Enforcement of Judicial Acts, believes that if suppliers from unfriendly countries refuse to renew their licenses, then there should be no liability for those who continue to use such software. In order to exclude administrative and criminal liability for users, she proposed to determine a reasonable period that would be enough to switch to software with valid licenses. nine0005
Vladislav Kocherin, Managing Partner of Kocherin & Partners law firm, recalled that violations of copyright and related rights are punishable by up to six years in prison. But he emphasized that if the owner of the software uses his right to cause harm without sufficient legal or market grounds, then it would be quite logical to slightly weaken the regulation in this area.
Andrey Zlobin nine0005
#ON #software #sanctions
The most important thing about finance, investment, business and technology
The Ministry of Education of Russia approved new federal state educational standards (hereinafter referred to as GEF) for primary general and basic general education (hereinafter referred to as IEO and LLC, respectively). The updated version of the Federal State Educational Standard preserves the principles of variability in the formation by schools of the main educational programs of primary general and basic general education, as well as taking into account the interests and capabilities of both educational organizations and their students. It is from September 1, 2022 that the Federal State Educational Standards will begin to operate in each school, and students who will be admitted to study in the first and fifth grades in 2022 will study according to the updated Federal State Educational Standards. For minor students enrolled in training before the entry into force of these orders, it is possible to study under the new GEF with the consent of their parents (legal representatives). nine0005
The updated GEF formulates the most specific requirements for the subjects of the entire school curriculum at the appropriate level, allowing you to answer the questions: what exactly the student will know, what he will master and what he will master. The updated Federal State Educational Standards also ensure the personal development of students, including civil, patriotic, spiritual and moral, aesthetic, physical, labor, and environmental education.
The updated Federal State Educational Standards describe a system of requirements for the conditions for the implementation of general education programs, compliance with which ensures equal opportunities for obtaining quality education for all children, regardless of place of residence and family income. Thanks to the updated standards, students will have more opportunities to do science and conduct research using advanced equipment. nine0005
Order of the Ministry of Education of Russia No. 286 dated 31.05. 2021 "On approval of the federal state educational standard of primary general education"
Order of the Ministry of Education of Russia No. 287 dated 31.05. 2021 "On approval of the federal state educational standard for basic general education"
🔗 Federal State Educational Standard of Primary General Education
🔗 Federal state educational standard of basic general education
🔗 Exemplary work programs for academic subjects: https://edsoo.ru/Primernie_rabochie_progra.htm
Order of the Department of Education of the Yaroslavl Region No. 13/01-03 dated January 18, 2022 "On the organization of work on the introduction of updated GEF in educational institutions of the Yaroslavl Region in 2021-2022"
Memo for the Deputy Principal "What should be included in the IEP sections of the IEO" >>>
Memo for the Deputy Principal "What should be included in the sections of the PLO LLC" >>>
Memo for teachers “Transition to the new Federal State Educational Standard for CEOs and LLCs” >>>
Memo for parents "Transition to the new GEF IEO" >>>
Parent Guide "Transition to the new GEF LLC" >>>
Documents of the educational organization
Order on the creation of a working group for the introduction and implementation of the Federal State Educational Standard for primary and basic general education >>>
Order on approval of the roadmap for the transition to the new GEF of primary and basic general education >>>
Event Roadmap to ensure the transition to the new GEF NOO, GEF LLC for 2021-2022 >>>
Operating programs >>>
On December 9, 2021, , the school hosted the Pedagogical Council “New FGOS IEO and LLC. The main changes in the new educational standards” presentation
Regional information and educational portal
"Functional literacy is the ability of a person to use knowledge acquired throughout life to solve a wide range of life tasks in various areas of human activity, communication and social relations."
Components of functional literacy
1. Reading literacy. The ability of a person to understand and use written texts, to reflect on them and to engage in reading in order to achieve their goals, expand their knowledge and capabilities, and participate in social life. nine0005
2. Science literacy. The ability of a person to take an active civic position on issues related to natural scientific ideas.
3. Mathematical literacy. Ability to formulate, apply and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts: apply mathematical reasoning; use mathematical concepts and tools.
4. Financial literacy. The totality of knowledge, skills and attitudes in the field of human financial behavior, leading to improved well-being and improved quality of life. nine0005
5. Creative thinking. The ability to participate productively in the process of developing, evaluating and improving ideas aimed at obtaining innovative and effective solutions, and / or new knowledge, and / or effective expression of the imagination.
6. Global competencies. A combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes, attitudes and values that are successfully applied in personal or virtual interaction with people who belong to a different cultural environment, and with the participation of individuals in solving global problems. nine0005
The Russian Federation has been actively involved in the following studies since the 1990s:
PISA - Program for International Student Assessment
TIMSS - International Monitoring Study of the Quality of Mathematics and Science Education (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study)
PIRLS - Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
TALIS - Teaching and Learning International Survey
PIAAC - The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies
country and, along with the state final attestation, all-Russian verification works and national studies of the quality of education, form the Unified System for Assessing the Quality of Education (ESOKO) in the Russian Federation. nine0005
In the Russian Federation, international comparative studies of the quality of education are carried out by the Center for National and International Studies of the Quality of Education of the Federal Institute for Evaluation of the Quality of Education. https://fioco.ru/ru/osoko/msi/
FGOS NOO (Order of the Ministry of Education of Russia dated May 31, 2021 No. 286) 9000 05/31/2021 No. 287)
Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 204 dated May 7, 2018 "On National Goals and Strategic Objectives for the Development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2024". The Government of the Russian Federation was instructed to ensure the global competitiveness of Russian education, the entry of the Russian Federation into the top 10 countries in the world in terms of the quality of general education.
Order of the Department of Education of the Yaroslavl Region dated September 17, 2021 No. 282/01-03 "On the organization of work to improve functional literacy"
Action plan of the Yaroslavl region on the formation and assessment of functional literacy of students for the 2021-2022 academic year
assessment of the functional literacy of students in the municipality >>>
Level of educational organization
Order "On the organization of work at school to improve functional literacy" >>>
Action plan aimed at the formation and assessment of the functional literacy of school students >>>
Electronic bank of tasks for assessing functional literacy:
State Educational Standards for General Education >>>All grades of elementary school work according to the Federal State Educational Standard of the NOO, grades 5-9 are taught according to the Federal State Educational Standard, grades 10-11 - according to the Federal State Educational Standard.
Duty 1-2, Class 4
8.00-11.30 (with 4 lessons)
12.20 (with 5 lessons) Educational activities
11.40-13.00 Dynamic pause - Walk
13.30-14.00 1 extracurricular activity
14.10-14.40 2 extracurricular activities
14.40 Students leave home (with 4 lessons)
15.20 Students leaving home (with 5 lessons)
Operating mode 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades
8.00-12.20 (with 5 lessons) Educational activities
13.10 (with 6 lessons) Educational activities
14.00 (with 7 lessons) Educational activities
13.10 – 14. 00 Lunch
13.20-14.00 1 extracurricular activity
14.10-14.50 2 extracurricular activities
15.00-15.40 3 extracurricular activities
16.00 Students go home
3rd, 6th, 8th grade
10.40-12.20 extracurricular activities
12.30-13.10 extracurricular activities
13.10 - 11.30 - lunch
13.30 - 19.15 - Educational activities
19.20 Students go home
Types of extracurricular activities:
• Cognitive activity
• Playing activities
• Problem-value communication
• Leisure activities
• Artistic creation
• Social creativity (social transformation activities)
• Labor (production) activity
• Sports and recreation activities
• Tourism and local history activities
Recently, project activities have been introduced in our school. This form of work allows you to build a special relationship of cooperation and equality between the teacher and the student, allows you to reveal your abilities to each student, to reflect, to put an original experience, to conduct a sociological survey among peers. nine0005
Work on project activities in our school is carried out in several stages:
- Choosing a topic, a teacher (curator).
- Joint work on the project of the student and the teacher.
- Public defense of the project.
- Presentation of the project at the final scientific-practical conference "Think, create, explore" of the school scientific society "Evrika".
Last academic year, students worked on projects in biology, history, fine arts, literature, mathematics, geography, physics, and the world around them. In April, a public pre-defense of projects was held, which was attended by public observers, students and their parents, subject teachers, curator teachers, school administration.