Don’t be Fooled: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True -- It Probably Is

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Ipsos I-Say is a survey panel that has been around for a long time. A long, long time – I remember being a panel member of theirs back when I was a teenager and the internet was young, maybe 15 years ago. They are a great survey company because they can leverage this experience to provide not only exceptional market research results for their business clients, but a positive and fun experience for their survey panelists. They’re a good, legitimate survey company and I would of course recommend them to anyone looking for a survey site to sign up with.

Unfortunately when you make such a strong brand name for yourself, you open yourself up to scam artists, thieves, and lawbreakers who try to capitalize on just that name recognition for their own good. Ipsos I-Say, along with several of the other major survey sites, has been the victim of a sophisticated hoax that preys on their members. Con artists have stolen the Ipsos name, email addresses and images to create false advertisements that have unfortunately fooled a number of people into giving away their personal information or even money. Don’t fall for the scam against Ipsos I-Say. Here’s what you need to know:

Ipsos has posted the following information directly on their website:

“Ipsos would like to warn you about a phishing scam that is periodically being perpetrated on individuals in the United States, in which a scammer posing as a legitimate market research firm will send you an email asking you to confirm personal information and offering a fee (often $180) per evaluation.

If you have received such an email claiming to be from Ipsos, please note that it is not an authorized communication from Ipsos, and Ipsos does not use such methods to perform its studies.”

So scam number one: DON’T fall for phishing tricks, and don’t give your personal information out via email, even if the email looks like it may have come from Ipsos I-Say. Email addresses can easily be spoofed. Especially don’t send any of your personal information via email to an unknown recipient if there’s a promise of big money involved, $180 is way more than a survey site will normally pay for your time. If it sounds too good to be true, be suspicious.

There’s a second scam against Ipsos I-Say making the rounds more recently. The following information is also direct from the Ipsos website:

“Ipsos would like to warn you about a scam that is periodically being perpetrated on individuals in the United States, in which a scammer… will send you a letter promising a high-paying job as a “Mystery Shopper”. In a recent scam, each targeted individual receives a check in the mail, usually for an amount between $3,000 and $5,000, which they are invited to deposit into their personal account for use as a mystery shopper. They are then asked to… return the unused funds. The consumer then finds that the original check has bounced and they are out of pocket for all of the money they have sent to the scammer, as well as any money they’ve spent.

If you have received such a letter claiming to be from Ipsos, please note that it is not an authorized communication from Ipsos, and Ipsos does not use such methods to perform its studies. Ipsos will never ask shoppers, consumers or respondents to send us money. Do not cash the check enclosed with the letter; if you have already done so, please alert your bank immediately. . .

Ipsos is working with the appropriate Federal, State and local authorities to crack down on all individuals involved in perpetrating these schemes.”

There’s more information on the website about how to report these scams to Ipsos, your bank, the FTC, and your state attorney general.

This scam sounds way too good to be true. Who wouldn’t be ecstatic to find a check for $5,000 in their mailbox from Ipsos? I know I would! All you have to do is test out this money wiring service for them. And as soon as you do, the money is long gone and you’re left holding the bag. Well, a reputable market research company just doesn’t work that way. Ipsos I-Say doesn’t do mystery shopping in the first place, and they would never ask you to send money anywhere. Be aware! This is a scam that has been surprisingly successful for the crooks that are running it, and several major survey sites have been hit in the past few months.

Ipsos I-Say is a reliable company with an incredibly longstanding reputation. They send out surveys created to provide real information to real businesses, and if you fill them out they will reward you with real rewards. They’re a legitimate market research survey site. But these cons are something totally different and definitely do not come from Ipsos. Don’t be fooled by scammers. If you find either of these offers in your inbox, report them to the authorities immediately.

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