Desperate times call for desperate measures. After nearly a year of diligent job hunting, I finally stumbled across yet another work from home offer. There are sites that say you can make money writing, but it's usually not enough to pay a lot of bills. Sites where you can list and sell your stuff. That works for a while provided you have stuff left to sell, and that your profit is more than the listing fee, the paypal fees and the final value fee. There are out and out scams that say you can make jewelry, but you have to buy the pieces and selling them after you make them is very difficult. Better to buy the craft stuff yourself at a craft store and buy a vendor booth at a fair than to try to make money through scams.

The new offer I found two days ago was an offer to make money taking surveys. Sounds innocent, right? Who doesn't want to know my opinion? I clicked on the link embedded in the email and I started to feel queasy right away. I didn't know anything about this company. Isn't this how identity theft is born? Who would be more pliant than a broke person? Who would least be able to afford being ripped off? I closed the window reluctantly and did a search engine on on-line surveys.

I found there are certainly a lot of companies, websites that exist to take surveys. It sort of makes sense from a marketing standpoint. But I still didn't see how I could tell which ones were legitimate. I search engined for blogs and consumer complaints regarding pools and opinion surveys. I learned one thing, that is sort of obvious: it's a scam if they are asking you for money. If they are asking you for credit card or debit card or bank information stay away. In this day and age, it should cost them NOTHING to get people on line to answer opinion surveys - so do NOT give out personal information like that to a person not selling you any product.

I also learned there was a website called "survey police" that rated some of the survey websites. I felt a little safer choosing from among the websites acknowledged by survey police. Of course even survey police could be fake, but how far are you going to take it, especially if you need money? So I signed up for one site called Opinion Outpost. I must admit, it is really really scary. The amount of personal information you need to provide to create a profile is more than eHarmony asked for! The carrot on the stick, if until you complete your profile, you may not be asked to do any of their random surveys. So I gave it my best shot. I spent about an hour filling out personal, very personal information. In the end I hit refresh and I still wasn't eligible for any surveys. I began to wonder if my junk mail would proliferate from this latest foray into making more money.

I'll keep you posted.