Earn money from home by taking surveys; BBB has different opinion

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

When Boise Police Department communications director Lynn Hightower got a work-at-home opportunity on her work computer, she says it was quirky.

“Know anything about it?” she asked, as she forwarded it to BBB.

The nondescript email has a return address only and Dave Anderson’s signature. It tells recipients they can make $5-$75 an hour by taking online surveys; $30-$150 for a focus group session; receive new products before they are released on the market; and get paid $12-$35 for watching movie trailers.

Anderson signs it: “If you have the willingness to participate in this new and tempting program, please reply to my email.”

On Twitter, Anderson brags (last post Oct. 11) that he made $105.64 taking surveys. He refers you to a Facebook for more information (Facebook disabled the page.) A website associated with his name is non-responsive.

Email sent to Anderson were ignored.

Before you fall for a work-at-home survey scam, ask these questions:

Who is Running the Survey?
As we like to say around BBB, companies that have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Many survey scam websites do not give any information at all about their business. A legitimate market research business should willingly disclose information about who they are, where they are, their company history, and particular survey information.

Is There a Privacy Policy?
Legitimate online 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 Crazy Promises?
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 huge money-making option. Websites promising otherwise should be thoroughly investigated.

Who Initiated the Contact?
If you have looked into a company to take part and they contact you, you initiated the call. But, when you receive an offer to do surveys, opinion polls, or marketing research, you should ask: What’s in it for them? Check out survey companies at BBB. Learn before you leap.

BBB visited legitimate survey/marketing company sites that matched up with Anderson’s claims, but couldn’t find any association.

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