Taking surveys can become addictive. There’s always that great feeling attached to seeing your reward actually added to your account after you’ve completed a survey. It makes you want start another one right away, even if only moments before you were just wishing you could just finally get through the one you were in.
Of course, some surveys will be more rewarding than others. Your experience is usually dependent on the survey site you’re signed up with.
After you join a lot of these sites, most of the surveys get delivered right to your inbox. You start to get familiar with the variations of each one, and pick and choose your favorites.
Related: Check out this list of the top 10 best paid surveys that will pay you on time and pay generously.
But I’ve also kept track of those that constantly disappoint for one reason or another, and quickly learned which ones to stay away from. So to help others avoid the same mistakes I made, here is my list of survey scam sites that I think you should stay away from..
Survey Scam Site #1: MindsPay
MindsPay is really an “offer” site—there are absolutely no surveys here, yet they call themselves a survey site. MindsPay gets paid when you take part in offers they present to you, and they give you part of this money as incentive to take part in their offers. These can be free-trials, or cash back for purchase, and even for just visiting a website on their list. These offers range anywhere from 20 cents to $20.
To be absolutely honest, I did make about $20 with MindsPay, and at the beginning I was all for writing up a great review. The first few offers were easy, credited to me immediately, and I was even being paid to click on my emails.
And they do have a great referral system to which you could make a lot of money. But unfortunately, now I cannot willingly refer anyone to this site without giving myself a guilty conscience.
• They do give you instructions before clicking on the offers of what is required of you to earn your credit. However, the big money offers are completely (and deliberately) misleading. They word their instructions to imply that you just need to sign up for the free trial to get credit, when a full purchase is necessary. I believe that they hope to profit off those who forget to cancel any free trial subscriptions and end up “accidentally” making a purchase, as this happens a lot more than you’d imagine.
• Unlike similar sites, MindsPay requires you to complete a follow-up survey after you complete an offer. However, they make it so impossible to find the surveys that match up to the offers you have taken part in. There is no search option, and no afterward guidance or instructions telling you what you need to do to get credited.
• They have a $50 payout threshold, and make it nearly impossible to reach. It has been about six months since I’ve stopped trying to reach my payout with MindsPay. At about $20, they completely stopped crediting me for anything and everything. My emails are responded with stock answers telling me why it’s my fault that I didn’t get credited, even though I’ve done everything exactly as I was told.
• They will go out of their way to keep from paying you. Google it—there are endless stories out there about how MindsPay will freeze your password once you get close enough to cash out, and then not reply to your “help me” emails.
MindsPay will bombard you with emails of their offers, and each email you open and respond to does get you some credit. In fact, this is the only area that seems to actually work in your favor. I was getting credited up to a dollar each day just for opening my emails and clicking on them once. However, actually getting paid for those credits is something that will probably never happen.
I have spent a lot of time with this site, and all the credit I still have with them I will likely forfeit because I do not want to waste any more time with them, or allow them to make any more cash off of me.
Scam Survey Site #2: Panda Research
For anyone unfamiliar, Panda Research is another of these “offer/survey sites” without any surveys. This site is a lot more known with more members. However, there are two big red flags that you should take as warnings to stay away from Panda Research.
- It is owned and run by A&A Marketing–the same company responsible for MindsPay (above), and
- it has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau, including 63 filed complaints from users as well as advertisers. This company is screwing people at both ends of their profit spectrum.
Most of these complaints consist of people not getting credited and/or ultimately paid from Panda Research.
The reason for the “F” rating, however, is not really based on the number of complaints a business has, because every business is going to have unhappy customers. They base their ratings on how the company responds to its complaints. And in the case of Panda Research, MindsPay and A&A Marketing, most complaints went completely ignored.
So this is why I stay clear of Panda Research, and why I think you should too.
Scam Survey Site #3 – Survey Spot
Survey Spot is on my list, simply because of the unbelievably low rewards they offer. I hate to sound like the greedy one and say they don’t pay me enough for my time, but hey, “They just don’t pay me enough for my time.”
Survey Spot does have some valuable qualities.
• They have lots of surveys always available.
• They have a very low threshold—500 points ($5) if you go with the Amazon gift card, or 1,000 points ($10) for the Paypal cash option.
And occasionally, they’ll offer surveys worth 100 points or so (that’s $1 equivalent), which is somewhat fair, but most of their surveys are much, much less–25 points (25 cents) and 37 points (37 cents), and I get a lot worth only 12 points! Twelve cents for 20-30 minutes of your time is ridiculous.
It is really insulting, because they’re just the middleman, and you know that they are making so much money from each survey you take, and not offering anything even close to what their competitors (other survey sites) are offering.
I worked too hard to reach that 500 point mark. I finally earned my $5 Amazon gift card, and never went back. I suggest you do the same. It is so frustrating to literally work for pennies, while there are so many other better-paying sites out there where you could be spending your valuable time. Check out these top paid survey sites who pay top dollar for surveys.
I understand that most people might get frustrated with all of the survey sites for one reason or another. But my negative reviews of these businesses are provoked by unethical and unacceptable behavior. My hope is that the websites on this list do not get free money out of anyone else, like they did from me.
Please let me know with a comment if there are any other sites I should add to this list.
Check it my list of good and honest survey websites you need to join.