This post may contain affiliate links but I only recommend sites that I have personally researched, trust or use.

I have talked about Pinecone Research many times on this particular blog.  They have been around for several years and are one of the legitimate survey companies that will pay you for your honest opinions.  But just recently, supposedly Pinecone Research has been sending out invitations for new and existing members to participate in the Customer Satisfaction Service Study that will pay you $200!  Sounds too good to be true and this one is.  Let me explain why I say this.

The Truth about Pinecone Research Studies

I have personally been a member of Pinecone Research for several years and I have never received or been invited to receive $200 or anywhere near this amount for my time.  The surveys are normally pay around $3 each which is far from the $200 amount.
The email states that it is coming from Pinecone Research but it is from someone pretending to be a representative of Pinecone Research to get members and others to sign up for this fake project evaluation.  The fake secret shop project evaluation will look exactly like this below.

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If you are sent something like this from Pinecone Research or any other research company, beware that it is a scam!  It is really someone else and not Pinecone Research that are sending out these bogus emails.  Why do I say this?  Because Pinecone Research has a notice about an Internet Fraud alert alluding to this very subject on their home page.

How to Identify Mystery Shopping Scams

So, how do you know if a email from a company asking you to participate in a mystery shop is legit or not?  Here are some tips that can help you to identify these scams.

  1. If you are not a member of the company.  It is in fact fake.
  2. If they have emails, letter heads, contact information coming from multiple people, random names, companies and so forth.  It is not legit.
  3. If they ask you wire money to Western Union, Money Gram or a site similar to this one, run fast!

Legitimate Survey Panels that really do Pay!
Does this mean that Pinecone Research is not legit?  Absolutely not.  They are definitely a legitimate company and that is exactly why the scammers have targeted them because they are trustworthy, are in good standing and have paid their members for their opinions.  Why would the scammers pick a company that would not have these characteristics?  If they did, it would be much harder for them to deceive others.  
Do not let this most recent scam discourage you because there are a lot of legitimate survey companies that need panelists to give their feedback online.  Here are a few that I recommend that really do pay!

I have included a video that explains more about this mystery shopping scam from Pinecone Research and how I have been targeted by scammers also.  You can watch it below.  Feel free to share.

As a member of the YouGov panel you will be part of a global community of people who share their opinions in return for points and rewards. Click Here


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