Are Paid Online Survey Sites a Scam? Yes They Are! See Why.

One of the ways I tried making money online at one point when starting out was with paid online surveys. Were they a scam? Oh. Yes.

Obviously you saw the word “pennies” and already know where I’m leading this context and before you tell me that I picked the wrong survey sites or I didn’t do something right, I’m probably one of the few people in the world that has explored MORE of these than anyone else and let me tell you, I’m glad I stopped looking because it really is a hopeless thing.

are paid online surveys a scam

My personal and sad story with paid online surveys (a warning):

I first discovered this “opportunity” through an ad I saw on a website which said you could make up to $5,000 apaid online survey alternatives month by just answering simple surveys.

“Wow let me try this!” I though at the time being a naive college student who was nearly broke and looking to make ends meet. And so I clicked through the ad, read the very convincing sale’s letter and decided to sign up. 

After spending $60 to get access to the membership area and countless hours of answering surveys, I realized I was duped.

For all my time spent registering and answering surveys, I received VERY little compensation which amounted to pennies. It was then that I experienced my first VERY important lesson in online marketing:

Never fall for the get rich quick scheme and paid online surveys are certainly that.

So with that lesson learned the hard way, I’d like to elaborate on why you should entirely avoid online surveys, no matter what they say… 

Why paid online survey sites are more of a scam than they are legit:

Here is how the typical paid online survey site works and why you should stay away from it/them:

1) The first thing you are told to do is register with about 50 or more different websites which “pay” you to take online surveys.

You are given a huge list of companies where you can do that. Some of them pay you to take online surveys. Others ask you to arrive physically at a location near you to take them.

They are sort of like focus groups and by the way, those are your only hope in this business (but they too aren’t the a good opportunity, because they aren’t online, among other things).

2) After spending hours registering for these places, you wait to receive notification.

And that wait could take days or even weeks from these places asking you to take their surveys. When you do, you are click through a link and are asked questions from different places you registered with.

Some questions about product reviews and what you think of things like shampoos, towels, ect…

Some surveys will take you a few minutes to finish while others can take you as long as 30 minutes. Some of them actually have timers. 

3) The money part (why this is often a lie).

Of course this is the most important thing. Here’s where the whole scam comes into play and why I will call ANY why you won't make money with paid online surveyspaid online surveys that:

They pay you in pennies or worse a percentage of pennies! Some of the companies I dealt with would offer me .001 of a penny for each survey I would take.

And you would think that by signing up with more paid survey sites, that you’d increase your money opportunity. This is actually false because most of them are designed such that you need to get a certain amount before you cash out and to reach that amount will take you countless hours for EACH survey site you’re signed up with.

Are you kidding me? Be aware that you’ll encounter this nonsense if you try these things.

4) The only part of this business which DOES offer you REAL money are the places which physically ask you to come see them.

AKA, Focus Groups.

A few months after registering with this paid online survey site, I would receive calls once or twice a month asking me to come in and do a focus group or product review of some sort in my area.

Some offered to pay me up to $200 for a few hours work. That is the only legitimate part of this business, at least in my experience. But there’s nothing “online” about these things, because you have to show up somewhere, sometimes for a long period of time, so that negates the whole opportunity.

5) There are many other survey sites which use the same type of formula for their business. 

There are a number of places I have already reviewed. Places like Survey Say, which was rated a scam.

Although the difference in that particular site was that access was free whereas with others you need to pay first to gain access. A small positive, but overall not worth it.

Additionally I’ve also done a review on a place called Survey Money Machine. The verdict there? A scam as well.

And here are more.

The most common features these sites share is that they pay you VERY little to fill out a lot of forms and when you do the math, what you will get paid per hour is absolute pennies and maybe a dollar. 

Final Rating: Paid Online Survey Sites

Red Flag

1 out of 10 Stars: More scam than not. Very few OK ones (see a list of OK paid online survey sites), not to be mistaken for good ones. It overall pays little to nothing and is not worth trying.

My final thoughts on paid online survey sites: 

It’s a scam in my experience. There were NO real opportunities to make honest money online taking these surveys, only offline.

Did I take advantage of the offline offers?

No, because I didn’t trust those places and like I said, there’s nothing “online” about doing “offline work”. And also, I didn’t know where I was going or what I would be testing. And after all I did sign up to do these surveys from the comfort of my home

That was then and it taught me a very valuable lesson on making money through the internet: Any place that claims you can easily make money is either lying to you or keeping some REALLY important details out of their sale’s pitch. 

Learn from my mistakes. I plucked down $60 to access this paid online survey site. This place is no longer in business, but there are still PLENTY of places like it still around trying to lure people to join them. One of the most recent I’ve reviewed is called Click 4 Surveys and guess what? It too is a scam. Follows the exact same formula as all the negatives I listed. Don’t be lured into these places!

Are there any legitimate ways to earn money online? 

There are very few places that are legitimate, but survey sites are not one of these places.

Here is my #1 recommendation called Wealthy Affiliate for one of the only places you can honestly make money online through a method called affiliate marketing. One thing you need to understand about this business is this: 

There is absolutely no way you can sit, do very little/nothing and expect to earn $100’s and even $1,000’s, at least not without putting in the hard work first. That’s the exact sale’s angle these companies use to attract you to pay up. Making money from the comfort of your home via the internet is very possible and almost guaranteed, but it’s not going to happen through these shady survey places, no way. Try out Wealthy Affiliate instead.

If you’ve been scammed by one of these “paid” online survey site’s, please share your story below. I’d like to hear what other places you’ve tried and what you discovered there. Was it the same as my story?

6 thoughts on “Are Paid Online Survey Sites a Scam? Yes They Are! See Why.”

  1. I did a scam search on and they rated it a 5, and didn’t give it a blacklist or other highly negative reviews. I only came across 3-5 people saying it’s a scam. I also emailed them for more information about the business but no one has responded. Do you know anything about it?

    • I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed 1 hour survey, but it’s been added to the list. Update: I just reviewed it and it’s a scam.

      What I can tell you is that there is no survey site that pays well, period. Answering surveys is one of the worst ways to make money, if you can even call it that.

      The only way to make money with survey sites is by referring people, but then you get them stuck in believing they can actually do anything there, so it ends up being a huge blunder.

      Another big problem is that the same places you say that rate these survey sites high are the same ones who refer you there, and like I said, that’s the only way they will make good money, but the review isn’t authentic, it’s carefully planned to sell and the worst thing with these survey sites is them asking you to pay for it. If you ever see that, run Farid, run away fast…

      I recommend you forget survey sites from now on Farid and stop looking at them entirely. Focus on making an online business if you want to really earn a living online and get training from this place if you decide to do that.

    • Any survey site which charges money for accessing free survey sites is a scam Sonny. The only reason they’re telling you about making so much is because they want that $30. I don’t believe the people who say they’re making money there and if you’re seeing sites which push this program, it’s probably because they are promoting it.

  2. Do some people make money with online surveys? Yes. Do most? No.

    And those that do end up making money or get some sort of gift card end up working for much less than $5 per hour. If you are thinking about doing surveys just for the sake of making more money, you need to understand the value of your time.

    You are MUCH better off dedicating this time to creating a real business online, one that will actually pay you dividends for your hard work and something that is much more “exciting” than the mindless work that goes into submitting surveys.

    If you like doing mindless work for pennies on the dollar, do surveys.

    • Thanks for your comment Kyle. The conversion rate when considering surveys really is pennies on the dollar. I had to find this out the hard way. Definitely not worth the effort if you consider all the factors (time, work, payment per hour).


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