Monday, November 13, 2006

paid consumer survey scams

Yesterday I discovered what I strongly suspect is a scam. A consumer survey scam.

I clicked on a link to a Staples consumer survey provider, which claimed that Staples was paying people $300 per survey, and it takes only 15 minutes to fill out. While I never fall for such things, I was bored and curious as to where the catch was.

When I clicked on the link, it took me to a consumer survey company, supposedly hired by Staples. Suddenly, I saw the dubious rip off, that I'm sure is a con job.

I had to pay a fee.

"Your payment of this small fee will prove to us that you're a serious survey responder. You'll make up the small fee many times over, by taking $300 surveys every week." A pretty close paraphrase of their actual text.

Don't ask me what the fee amount was, because I bailed out before I discovered it. I just saw "pay a fee" and that was enough to make me abandon the registration process, having given them only my full name and my email address (Step #1).

Folks, I don't pay fees to executive recruiters or anybody else. I certainly don't pay any fee just to take a survey and provide marketing research to a company. As a frequent customer of Office Depot and Best Buy, I'm a qualified target for Staples promotions, but this is not the way to convert me to Staples.

So, just remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably not true. Even worse, they could be stealing credit card numbers from people.

Don't blame Staples. They may have nothing to do with it, and not even be aware of it.

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