Q:

Are free survey sites scams?

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Quick Answer

Some free Internet survey sites are run fraudulently, often as a way for the operators of the sites to obtain personal data from those who participate in the surveys. Surveys that lack an explicit privacy policy or that promise much larger prizes or payments for participation than most other surveys are particularly likely to be part of scams.

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Full Answer

Fraudulent online survey sites are often attempting to gather email addresses for advertising purposes or for resale as part of an email marketing list. Unsophisticated scam sites of this type may have a very simple registration form for their surveys, often requesting only a first and last name and an email address. Minimal registration forms of this type are rare on legitimate survey sites, and the presence of one suggests that users should be cautious about proceeding further on the site. Fraudulent sites also often put little effort into descriptions of the company conducting the surveys and the privacy policies of the surveys, so a lack of detail in these features can also help distinguish probable scams from likely legitimate surveys. There is a very high probability that any site that asks for payment from survey participants is fraudulent, as legitimate surveys usually offer compensation to participants rather than the other way around.

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