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What kind of market research scam was this?


I think I’ve fallen into a market research scam but I’m not sure what their end goal was.

I filled out a lot of focus group screeners so when “Tom” from “ABC Research” texted me to set up a call for a screener, I didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary.

During the screener call, Tom asked me normal questions (name, age, state of residence, etc) and about my usage of a certain consumer website and my purchase history. He said I qualified for a 5-day study, which each session paying $50 and payment at the completion of the study. The payment methods were gift card, PayPal (with a fee), or check so I chose the check option and gave him my address to send it to (in hindsight, this was a dumb mistake but he actually didn’t push me to give a home address but just “anywhere I want to send the check to”). He also gave me a personalized login name for the website to use in the later part of the study.

The first session was on the phone (I had to call him each time - which was strange and should have been a red flag). He just asked me to replicate a process for doing something on the website (didn’t give me a different link to the website or anything so he couldn’t have stolen my normal login info) and asked my recall of certain things on the page and if certain things should be changed.

We set up a time for the next session, which he was going to have to send me an NDA for and he was going to go over that process in the next session. However, he never answers the phone during our appointment time or replies to my follow up texts. He completely ghosts me.

I call the main number for “ABC Research” (which I should have done from the start but I didn’t because it was headquartered in another country and is generally after business hours when I’m awake). The receptionist said that she wasn’t aware of the company recruiting for studies in my country and that she would follow up with her boss but that they are a smaller company and it doesn’t sound legitimate.

So I guess I fell for a scam. However, I’m not sure what they were hoping to accomplish. They didn’t get my login information. Were they after my address?

I’m just very worried about what they were hoping to do with this scam so I’m trying to understand their motive so I can hopefully take necessary precautions.

Thank you!

TL;DR Was ghosted by a “market researcher”. Can he do anything with my name, address, and age? He didn’t get any other personal or login information.

submitted by /u/threwkittymeowza
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