Amazon Mechanical Turk Scams, How to Avoid


Amazon Mechanical Turk (mturk as follows) is one of the most popular micro job marketplace. With the vast number of mini tasks, there are inevitably some that will never pay you even if you complete the work successfully. Therefore it is essential to be aware of the submitter rating before you take up the task.

One of the best ways to check the hirer info is using the Firefox add-on Turkopticon. This helps assess the submitters rating before you work with them. In addition, you should pay attention to survey offers with unusual high earning. They may not pay you at the end. Feedback is one of the very ways to identify scammers.

Despite the pitfalls, mturk is a great place to make a little cash online. Feel tempted to join now? Before you register as a worker, there are a few limitations you should be aware of when you are not US-based:

  • Payments are only made to US bank accounts for US workers. For international workers, you only receive credit for Amazon store
  • There are also restrictions on the Amazon store credit for international workers. The credit cannot be used to purchase items from specified categories. Here is an abstract from Amazon:

"Buyers outside the U.S. cannot purchase the following items from sellers on Amazon: Video Games, Electronics, Camera & Photo, Tools & Hardware, Kitchen & Housewares, Software, and Computers. Nutritional supplements that are considered to be regulated drugs in Europe may not be purchased by buyers located in Europe."


If you don't mind about the limits, mturk will be a good alternative for make money online. Fortunately, there are also numerous alternatives. For instance, microworkers offer tasks that take several minutes complete, and they accept paypal payment too. Take some time for online research and you should have no problem finding the ideal place to make money from your home.

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