How To Spot A Fake Online Data Collection Company in 2 Minutes

i am a thiefTo start a data collection company you don’t need any qualification – in fact formal education is also not required – you just need to be ‘street smart’ or to put it in right perspective – you should be able to get the data collection done – somehow, anyhow. This fact along with the lure of ‘quick cash’ has enabled many fake online data collection companies to open their shops in recent times. You don’t need to worry too much as a research panel buyer – these fake players don’t even have the basic common sense to evade getting caught. This article illustrates how in just 2 minutes you can identify and avoid a fake online data collection company.

The moment you receive an introduction mail from a new online data collection company – simply open a web browser and type in their company’s website address.

In first 5 seconds you will get enough indications of their authenticity – a fake online data collection company will have a really amateurish and unprofessional looking website.

Next click on the ‘About Us’ tab on their website – I can guarantee you that this click itself will clear all doubts – as the names of the company owners will be missing! The reason is very obvious – they are simply there to provide you fudged data and vanish away.

In terms of description on the ‘About Us’ page you will have something like this “XYZ Research has been retained to provide marketing research for a large number of multinational and Fortune 500 corporations” – now imagine a company which provides services to Fortune 500 corporations is so ‘shy’ to divulge the names of their owners.

Fact 1: Any online data collection company which does not provide the detailed description about the owners is FAKE!

If you want to probe further and want to be 100% sure that the online data collection company is fraud – do this simple step:

Click on the ‘Contact Us’ page: if you either see a contact us form or some random email IDs – be rest assured that this is a FRAUD company.

Very high probability that you will see something like this:

Sales – biz@xyz.com
Enquiry – info@xyz.com
Jobs –   jobs@xyz.com
Partners– partners@xyz.com

Can you trust a company which doesn’t provide the details about their location?

If an online data collection company is just providing mobile numbers – it is FAKE

If an online data collection company is just providing emails IDs – it is FAKE

If an online data collection company is just providing contact us forms – it is FAKE

What if tomorrow the online data collection company you have hired provides fudged data and simply vanishes away?

Fact 2: Any online data collection company which does not provide the detailed description about their location along with land-line numbers is FAKE!

I am sure by this time you are very clear that you are dealing with a fake online data collection company – but just to be 200% sure do the following:

Click on the ‘Our Panel’ tab on their website – if anywhere you see ‘Medical Panel’ – you should be now on ‘high alert’ stage – there is a growing trend among many fake companies to showcase themselves as ‘Healthcare Specialist’ or to have a robust ‘Medical Panel’ – but Alas! these fake players are even lacking common sense –  they will never divulge how they have recruited healthcare panels (which is the toughest to recruit respondent group) – they will simply put the name of all the departments – you will see something like this on their website:

Radiation Therapy Department, Non-Invasive Test Department, Occupational Disease Department, Physiatry Department, ICU Monitor Sickroom, Nuclear Medicine, Anus Bowel Department, Internal Department, Breath Medicine, Digestion Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology Department , Department of Rheumatism, Endocrine Medicine Department, Hematology Department, Infectious Disease Department, Surgical Department, Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Department….blah blah blah….blah blah blah……..

Fact 3: Any online data collection company which does not provide the detailed description about their panel book is FAKE!

I am sure these few simple clicks will enable you to catch hold of these thieves.

PS: A good online data collection company will always be a member of a reputed industry forums like ESOMAR, CASRO, MMRA, MRA etc. After all if an online data collection company does not even take the initiative and commitment to pay a lowly sum of few hundred dollars to register themselves to such forums – you can very well imagine the level of quality they will deliver.

During my research I came across 3 Indian Online Data Collection Companies which claimed to adhere to ESOMAR guidelines but were not even ESOMAR Member!!! Beware of such fake companies.

Fact 4: Any online data collection company which is not a member of industry bodies is FAKE!

Akshay Kanyal

Akshay Kanyal

Akshay Kanyal writes survey research reviews on his popular blog Online MR. He’s an avid blogger, brand consultant and a content marketing expert, helping business owners to craft content that sells.

He provides content marketing advice to start-ups and innovation driven companies. He can be contacted at editor@onlinemr.com

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