Just wanted to give you all a warning that there is a scam floating around disguised as Pinecone Research. As we all know, Pinecone Research is a very legitimate, popular survey panel. Many would even argue that Pinecone is the best survey panel out there, and because of that everyone wants to sign up. That is what makes this particular scam so dangerous!
The scammers here are smart enough to know that everyone wants to be part of Pinecone Research, so they set up a fake survey scam to try and rip people off using Pinecone’s name. You’ll know this scam when you see it because you might get an email supposedly from Pinecone saying you’ve been invited to take part in a Western Union research study where they will claim to pay you $150 to cash a check from them at your bank and then immediately wire some of the money to someplace else — supposedly evaluating the Western Union service. If you receive the check in the mail, it looks real. The scammers have even gone to the trouble of copying Pinecone’s logo onto the check.
This is the classic check cashing scam using Pinecone’s good name, and it could land you in a lot of hot water. The check will bounce and you will be the one in trouble because you used your bank account to deposit the bad check and then immediately sent money that technically wasn’t yours to another location.
For what it’s worth, the real Pinecone does not pay $150 for any research — that’s the first warning flag that should go up here. It’s a flat $3 per survey you take. They also don’t send out unsolicited emails.
If you are interested in joining the real Pinecone, they are actually recruiting now. But stay far, far away from anything you come across that sounds like what I described above.