CHICAGO (WLS) -- Many people are looking for a side gig or part-time work from home opportunity right now, but the Better Business Bureau warns some of those opportunities really are too good to be true.
Some listings say you can make money by reviewing video games, filling out surveys or sharing your social media contacts with other companies. But the BBB says to beware.
Martin Lewis said he signed up for SocialDM a platform that says it will pay people to test apps and games. They also promise extra cash for signing up friends and even a $40 dollar bonus to join. Lewis said he thought he completed the tasks, which he said included filling out surveys and supplying his personal information.
"They asked for things like your social security number. Sometimes your driver's license numbers. Sometimes they ask for your previous street address for the past five years, personal information like that," he said. "And that was basically stored on each of the surveys. But you had to reach a certain level the surveys in order to be paid."
Lewis shared a screenshot with the I-Team, showing he has a balance of $1,320, money for completing his "work." But Lewis said when he tries to cash out, another screen tells him he has not completed tasks of inviting other people to the platform.
Lewis said he had no luck getting people to accept and the website does not clearly outline that requirement.
"You should basically expect nothing, just expect nothing," He said.
The BBB spoke generally about offers to work on these kinds of online platforms.
"Anytime these offers seem you know that they promise great returns, or they promise you a wealth of you know gift cards or gift certificates you know high amounts for doing little to no work. That is what we call the tip off to rip off," said Steve Bernas, president of the Chicago area Better Business Bureau.
The BBB said you should steer clear of all online offers that make these types of promises, especially when they also ask for personal information. SocialDM's website says it encrypts all your data so that no-one can see it, not even SocialDM.
"So consumers don't think they're harmed by giving this information freely to them, even sometimes when they don't get the money that there was promised to them. But the Better Business Bureau concern is always providing personal information to other individuals because you never know where it's going to end up," Bernas said.
The I-Team found two email contacts for SocialDM and asked about Lewis's claims. We have not yet heard back from anyone.