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How to Detect and Avoid the Top Scam Money Making Websites

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In a climate where job loss is high, income low and the bills don't stop just because you got laid off, making money online can certainly seem like a life saver. The current trend in online get rich quick schemes comes in the form of websites that offer the opportunity to get paid to complete surveys and offers, write reviews or even informative articles. However, for various reasons, most of these sites turn out to be scams, using barely legal methods to extract personal information from the public, promising remuneration and failing to deliver.

Some of the companies orchestrating these scams are even considered reputable, yet they freely get away with theft at no repercussion to themselves. Meantime the users whom they scam are left to wallow in their own impotence and frustration, with no way to defend themselves or to ever get redress.

Below are details of some of the top websites that offer payment in exchange for work, and the methods they use to perpetrate their scam.


CashCrate claims to pay users for signing up for offers, trying new products, completing surveys and getting cash back on purchases made at hundreds of your their online retailers.

CashCrate's offers include registering for wardrobe makeover sweeps, signing up for auto insurance quotes and chances to win desirable prizes such as a year's worth of diapers, airplane tickets, or thousands of dollars in gift cards from places like Target or Costco.

All the user has to do is "fill out the form with valid information and participate." What this really means is that the user will be asked to provide their email which will be sold numerous third parties, thereby generating spam, Users will then be required to fill out a form that needs to include home and cell phone numbers. Finally users will be routed through about ten pages of offers that they are free to ignore, until they reach the page called "Last Steps" which will oblige them to complete any two of the offers on that page. If all the steps are not fulfilled, user participation is considered incomplete and the account will not be credited.

And therein lies the rub. These "Last Step" offers may be free (such as a free trial to whiter teeth), but users will be asked to reveal their credit card details in order to cover shipping and processing. Mostly this is a nominal fee of no more than one dollar. The point is that CashCrate and its advertisers are acquiring credit card information that may then be used in any one of a number of credit card scams. Â

With that in mind, the only CashCrate offers that users will be able to fully complete will be those lowest paid offers (the twenty cent offers and quizzes) that do not require any credit card details. Any offers that exceed fifty cents will invariably end up with the request to hand over a credit card. The cash out threshold is twenty dollars, but getting there without the credit card will be a slow process.


Googling InboxDollars will bring up mixed reviews. As with Cashcrate, InboxDollars, which is owned by CotterWeb Enterprises, works using offers and surveys. The surveys are considered impossible to qualify for, as the survey companies are very specific in the demographics from whom they want information.

With InboxDollars, users earn five dollars for joining and can cash out at thirty dollars. Other than offers, users also receive paid emails, which pay two cents just for clicking them, plus hundreds of addictive games, also with a cash payout. Many users have reported dedicatedly playing their favorite games for several weeks, before realizing that no money has been added to their account. Upon enquiring with the support center, users are typically told that InboxDollars is not responsible and that payment will happen if and when the game hosts ever confirm their having played.

The offers aren't any better, though they are more attractive, as many do not require credit card information in order to be considered complete. However, unlike Cashcrate, which lets users know which completed offers have been paid and which are still pending, InboxDollars closes the page once the offer is complete, leaving no record of it having been completed. Many complaints have been submitted by users claiming to be owed credit on numerous offers on which they wasted valuable time and offered up their email for spam. Again, contacting the support center seems to be fruitless, and many are met with rude responses from scammers whose job is to absolve InboxDollars from all responsibility towards the user.

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I am a research scientist and a writer, with a PhD in neuroscience from University College London. I recently published the novel, A Life Lived Ridiculously, about a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder who makes the horrible mistake of (more...)
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