It’s too hard to keep up

Published 7:44 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

There are so many scams making the rounds these days; they take many forms, via a variety of means. Wherever there is a will to cheat, some criminal will find a way to take advantage.

A scam might be a supposed call from a representative with the IRS who demands past due taxes are paid immediately; it could be from a fake lawyer or law enforcement officer demanding payment to get a grandchild out of jail. It could be a sweepstakes in which the “winners” are required to pay up front for their cash and end up losing in the long run.

Online surveys are another culprit. Last year, the Better Business Bureau identified more than 740 scams that deal with surveys. The way they enact the scam is to ask for personal information, including asking common security questions, so they can access the victim’s personal information/accounts online.

BBB serving Eastern North Carolina is looking out for local consumers, however. The organization often sends out information about current scams.

Here’s what they advise when it comes to signing up for an online survey:

  • Research the company. You can start your research by going to They have business reviews for more than 4.7 million businesses. See what other people are saying by reading past customers’ reviews and experiences.
  • Are they asking you to pay? While this may seem obvious, you should never have to pay or enter in your credit card information to take a survey.
  • Too good to be true. Watch out for any company that is offering you $100 in exchange for 10 minutes of your time. Most surveys only pay .50 cents to $1, and the company will not pay out until a certain threshold is met.
  • Read the privacy policy. Before filling out any personal information, read over the company’s privacy policy. Make sure your information is secure and not being sold to third parties. If the site does not have a privacy policy, it is best to avoid.

There are ways to protect oneself from scammers. The lesson here is to pay attention and do the research.