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Before You Complete That Online Survey…

Before You Complete That Online Survey... - The Beacon


By: Beth

Before You Complete That Online Survey…

If you spend any significant amount of time online, you have surely been asked to complete a survey.  I received three invitations last week alone. Before completing any of these surveys, there are a few things I look for, including a privacy policy.  The Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), however, offers a more comprehensive list that includes what to look for and what to avoid. And so I wanted to share it with our readers, along with some tips from your BBB:

Legitimate survey companies will have contact information on their website and a representative available to answer questions/concerns.  They may also screen you to see if you meet demographic requirements.  Sometimes you will be offered modest incentives such as coupons.  (If this incentive seems too good to be true, it probably is.) You will be able to easily access terms and conditions. You should also quickly find the privacy policy. Read this to find if information you give them will be shared. They will also honor your request to opt out of future communication from them.

Legitimate survey companies will not ask for your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number. They will not request payment.  They will not use unsolicited emails or pop-up advertisements.  And they will not contact children without a parent’s consent.


If you feel you have been a victim of fraud you can file a complaint with your BBB, contact the Federal Trade Commission, and alert the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

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Beth was Director of BBB Services and wrote for the consumer education blog from 2008 to 2011. Beth also managed projects of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau Foundation, including the Student of Integrity Scholarship and senior citizen education programs, and she worked with local charities as a part of our charity reporting service.