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Security & privacy

Taking surveys to earn money? Don’t fall for scams out to get your info

The new year is upon us, and what better way to get a headstart than to bring in some extra cash? There are several ways to go about this, from selling your old stuff to renting out your property. Tap or click here for five ways to save and make money in 2023.

Online surveys are another way to supplement income. They can be completed in a few minutes, and while you won’t get paid much for each one, they do add up.

As with anything you do online, you must exercise caution. Not all companies are reputable and you may miss something in the fine print. Here’s what to watch out for.

Check the compensation

The Better Business Bureau brings up a point — literally. Many survey sites work on a point system. You participate in the surveys to accumulate points, which can be redeemed for rewards. These include direct cash deposits to your bank account or payment app, or you can get gift cards.

You’ll make a few bucks per hour but not much more. If a site promises riches for filling out a few surveys, it’s a scam. Move on to a different one.

Do your homework

When buying something online, you read reviews, right? The same should go for using any survey site or app. See what people are saying and if they were paid. Did they get inundated with spam? Check out reviews through the app store or at

What do they do with your data?

Check requested permissions before downloading any app, and see what information the site collects via its privacy policy. Stay away if something seems off or you can’t find this information.

RELATED: Top 10 tech tips of 2022 for better privacy, saving time and money

How much do you want to share?

You’ll likely have to provide a name and some contact information, at the very least. And depending on the survey, you may be asked for more personal information such as medical history, marital status, living situation and more. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing this information, don’t do it.

This is a big one. Get out of there if you’re asked for your Social Security number, driver’s license number, bank account information or credit card number. It’s most likely a scam.

Free is rarely free

Be careful if you’re offered a free trial in exchange for personal information. You may be asked for an email address, which will more likely than not lead to spam and your information being shared with others. If you’re prompted to enter credit card information, stay away.

Antivirus is vital in all situations

You may be sent to a third-party site to take a survey and you’ll want to be protected. Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices.

We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Never pay to play

The entire point of these surveys is to make money. If you’re asked to pay in exchange for completing them, it’s a scam!

Watch out for fake surveys

Crooks can fake anything from shipping confirmations to suspicious activity on your bank account, and surveys are no different. Look out for too-good-to-be-true compensation, spelling errors, phony URLs, a sense of urgency to ACT NOW and anything that follows the latest viral trend. These are all red flags.

Keep reading

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