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BBB Tip: Surveys for money. What to know before signing up

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  If you want to earn extra cash, taking surveys online is a good side hustle. Survey platforms, such as Survey Junkie and Swagbucks (both Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Businesses), connect brands with survey takers in their target demographics. For example, a toy company might want feedback from moms of young children. In return, survey takers earn cash, gift cards or point rewards from the platform.

  However, as with any service, do your homework before signing up. Here’s what you should know before using a paid survey platform: Tips for safely using online survey sites:

  • Know how you will be paid – and how much. Most survey sites use a point system to pay you for surveys. Once points add up, you can redeem them for gift cards or cash out through PayPal or another digital wallet app. You should expect to make a few dollars an hour. If a site promises you’ll get rich by taking surveys, it’s probably a scam.
  • Check site reviews before signing up. Look at reviews for the mobile app on BBB.org or through an online search. If you notice people reporting scams, inappropriate use of personal information or a failure to deliver payments, steer clear.
  • Review the privacy policy. Make sure the website has a privacy policy and read it carefully. It should be easy to understand how your data will be used. This is especially important since you’ll likely share personal information while taking surveys.
  • Be cautious with your personal data. Most survey sites will ask you for your date of birth, ZIP code, living arrangements, medical issues and more. Make sure you feel comfortable sharing that kind of information. If a survey asks you for your Social Security number, driver’s license number, bank account information or credit card number, leave the survey immediately.
  • Think twice before signing up for free trials. Some survey sites will give you bonus points or extra payouts for signing up for free trials or emails. This might mean entering your credit card information. Thoroughly research the company offering the free trial before you sign up or hand over your email address. Understand that the survey site is unlikely to take responsibility for how the third party uses your information.
  • Make sure your antivirus is up to date. Should a reputable survey send you to a not-so-reputable third-party site to take a survey, your antivirus can alert you to dangers before it is too late. Run regular scans on your device and always install updates right away.
  • Don’t pay to take surveys. You should never have to pay to take a survey. If a survey site charges you a fee to sign up, it could be a scam.
  • Watch out for survey scams. Fake surveys and surveys that offer valuable gifts for a few minutes of your time are just two scammers’ favorite tactics to get their hands on your personal information. Know how each scam works so you can recognize them immediately if you are targeted.

  Learn more about similar programs by reading BBB’s tip on cashback apps – https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/23764-bbb-tip-use-caution-when-saving-with-cashback-apps. You can find more helpful advice in BBB’s article about how to get a side hustle – https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/26976-bbb-tip-watch-out-for-side-hustle-scams. Learn how to spot scams by subscribing to receive regular BBB Scam Alerts.

  If you spot a survey scam, report it! By outlining your experience at BBB.org/ScamTracker, you can help BBB build consumer awareness about scams.

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