Is this a Craigslist scam?
June 3, 2011 4:42 AM   Subscribe

Criagslist Focus Group: Is this a scam?

I called these people yesterday, it kind of seemed legit. When she answered she asked me to call her back at another number in 30 seconds which was kind of weird but I think she was just arriving back at her office.

She asked for my address for where to send the check and I gave it to her. By the end of the conversation though I chickened out and told her I actually couldn't get out of work. I think I did this though because I'm generally wary of Craigslist and felt it wasn't worth it. She seemed nice and everything. Although, it's a remote focus group over the computer and phone and they specifically wanted people only from Boston so I'm not sure if that's weird or normal for focus groups.

Here's the ad:

We are conducting a series of online market research studies for residents of SUFFOLK COUNTY between the ages of 21-80 yrs old. You must have a computer & telephone to participate.

The sessions take place on EITHER Mon, June 13th or Tues, June 14th from 1-5pm ET. You must be in a quiet, distraction-free environment and have a valid MASS ID. The discussion involves various economic, legal, & social issues pertaining to the Boston area. You are paid for your time & opinions. No sales attempt is made due to participation -- strictly market research. LIKE DOING JURY DUTY --- BUT PAYS ALOT BETTER !

Spaces are limited. Please send Amy, Research Coordinator the following: NAME, AGE, JOB TITLE. HOME/WORK/CELL PHONE. Our office will contact you shortly for registration.

Checks for $125 are mailled 10 days after the study. You must have SUFFOLK CTY ID to qualify.
posted by modoriculous to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Doesn't look like a scam. They are not asking you to pay anything. I participated and organized many focus groups and the e-mail they sent you is pretty boilerplate.
posted by falameufilho at 4:48 AM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

Sorry: the e-mail they sent you ad they posted
posted by falameufilho at 4:49 AM on June 3, 2011

that's the way I was leaning too. Thanks falameufilho.
posted by modoriculous at 5:10 AM on June 3, 2011

I've participated in numerous focus group studies via telephone or in person in Boston.
Made about $75-200 depending on the study. I also know there was a mock jury program for one of the companies but never participated.

I guess if you're unsure, google the telephone number/company.
posted by KogeLiz at 5:27 AM on June 3, 2011

The only thing that sounds shady to me is the pay setup. I've done lots of taste tests/focus groups, and they always pay immediately upon exiting the study, sometimes with a check or gift card, usually with cash.
posted by litnerd at 5:30 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree litnerd, that does seem a bit shady. I might call back and ask why that is.
posted by modoriculous at 5:38 AM on June 3, 2011

Sending a check out 10 days after the service is performed does not sound "shady"; rather it sounds like this company has robust accounting systems and does not just hand out cash under the table.
posted by dfriedman at 6:24 AM on June 3, 2011

I used to work in market research, this sounds legit to me.
posted by empath at 6:27 AM on June 3, 2011

I did lots of these with various companies in NYC about 8 years ago. Totally legit.
posted by kimdog at 6:39 AM on June 3, 2011

Every focus group I ever participated in paid me on the spot.
posted by rhizome at 7:44 AM on June 3, 2011

Every focus group I ever participated in paid me on the spot.

But, "it's a remote focus group over the computer and phone." How would they pay people immediately, even if they wanted to?
posted by andoatnp at 8:16 AM on June 3, 2011

Between the ages of 21 and 80?

posted by dirtdirt at 9:38 AM on June 3, 2011

Seems like opinions are split on the payment method. Well I just signed up, so far they have my street address and phone number but nothing else. They're going to mail me the check at the address I gave them. So far it seems legit but who knows, we'll see how it goes.
posted by modoriculous at 10:10 AM on June 3, 2011

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