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How to Spot Legit Paid Survey Sites

There are many different apps and websites available for you to answer surveys, help you build a side income and find a fun hobby to spend your free time! But first, it is crucial to find out which are legitimate paid survey sites before giving them your information.

We set up a guide so you know how to separate illegitimate online survey sites from safe ones.

1. Sign Up Payments are Usually a Scam

You wish to make some money doing surveys but a site is asking for a payment from you to get started? That is a huge red flag! Usually, these providers are only interested in your money and do not actually provide qualitative surveys for you to take. Legitimate sites and apps are mostly free and simple to download on any device. 

2. Sign Up Bonus is Too Good to Be Real

Same problem, the other way around. A site is offering a sign up bonus of $100? – That is to good to be true, truly. Maybe they are trying to attract you to their service in order to steal your personal information later on. You might not even receive a payment, even after giving out sensitive bank account information. A small welcome bonus is absolutely legit and common practice within survey providers. However, look out for unrealistic amounts.

3. Survey Site Asks for Sensitive Bank Account Details

This is probably one of the biggest red flags in the paid survey universe. Legitimate sites usually let you collect your survey money in your account and pay you via PayPal or online gift cards (e.g. from Amazon). You will never be asked about your bank account information, since it is not necessary for the payout process. Also, many survey sites do not offer a direct bank account payout. Never ever give out sensitive info to an anonymous site!

4. Your Survey Provider is Very New

Sketchy sites do not live for long. Most times they will be taken down within days due to user complaints, violations of common privacy agreements or simply implementing illegal practices. Instead, a legitimate site has probably existed for several months or years and established a positive image. Have a look at App Store reviews, the provider company´s name and other signals.  

5. Privacy Policy and Terms of Agreement Seem Invasive

Something most of us never read but definitely should: privacy policies and TOAs. This is the place where survey sites – just like any provider – need to disclaim which of your data they fetch and how they use it. These are some red flags in privacy policies:
  • collecting too much (different) information
  • sharing your data with unknown third parties for unknown purposes
  • unclear, where data is stored / if it is stored securely
  • sites, where your data is shared, should begin with https://, not http://
  • agreement cannot be revoked or data cannot be deleted
  • implicit agreements or implicit consent is mentioned

What Are Safe Survey Sites Online?

There are many guides available which recommend the best paid online survey sites. In general, there are a few criteria to keep in mind when signing up to a new survey site. These indicators help you spot legitimate paid survey sites:

  • Multiple and safe payout options are available (PayPal, online gift cards)
  • Payout threshold should not be unreachably high (often between $5-10) 
  • Survey rewards fit to survey length (sometimes taking a few short surveys is more profitable than one long survey)
  • Provider is available for all devices you wish to use (e.g. mobile and web)
  • You can take as many surveys as you want (no limit) 

What did you think about this article? Tell us below, which are your favorite sites to take paid surveys online and check out our content on making money online!


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