Warning: Swag Bucks Scam

Swag Bucks is a Scam! I love being able to sign up at a site and be rewarded for participating in all of the offers available. It is fun, you meet cool people, and you win prizes. Swag Bucks allows you to search the web, participate in surveys, complete daily polls, find swag codes, and refer friends all the while rewarding you with swagbucks. Swagbucks can then be spent on prizes ($5 Amazon gift card is 450 swagbucks). You can also spend swagbucks on swagstakes (contests). Sounds good so far, huh? Here it comes.


Another way to earn swagbucks is to participate in special offers. These offers may require a purchase or they may be completely free. I participated in several offers. Within the offer description it states that the swagbucks are awarded immediately. I waited 7 days and my account never received credit. I sent a email inquiry and I did not receive a response for two weeks. Once my inquires were addressed, I received lame excuses like, clean out your cookies and remove your browser history. These are not valid reasons why my account did not receive credit. I submitted the email confirmations of the offers and the offer ID numbers to prove the offers were legitimately completed, and still my account has not been properly credited. I have since learned from lots of other members that participate in the site, to stay far away from the special offers because you never receive the swagbucks to your account. This repeated pattern of behavior is fraud.


Swagbucks is a sham. This site receives a nice referral fee from these companies for guiding people to these special offers, but for Swag Bucks to not properly credit accounts for offers that were legitimately completed is foul. Beware of the special offers with Swag Bucks.

Oh, that 450 swagbucks you need to receive a $5 Amazon gift card it is more like 500 to 520 swagbucks to redeem the gift card. If you have 450 the system will not allow you to cash in to receive the gift card. Yeah, this website is foul.

By mg from Minneapolis, MN

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 121 Feedbacks
November 16, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

I have weeded out many of my surveys. So many of them I don't qualify to take the survey after wasting my time to fill out all the preliminary questions. If I don't qualify after 20 attempts. I unsubscribe. The best one I have found is Pinecone research. You get paid $3 per survey except for ones about house hold questions.


You get 300 points that you can either save up for products or you can have it sent to your Pay Pal account. 300 points =$3. Sometimes they send to a product to try after the survey. You do a follow up survey and get another $3. And of course you can save up points for a larger Pay Pal payment.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

Apologies in advance for the long length. This is just my humble opinion:

I belong to Swagbucks. I still like it for the most part. They used to be be better before they started branching out. They used to give more swagbucks for searching than they do now.

When Swagbucks started getting a little Scrooge-y with the swagbucks awarded for searching I tried doing some of the special offers to make up for it. I only seem to get credit about 40% of the time. It takes quite some time & effort to challenge this*. After sending screenshots of proof and copy & pasting confirmation emails as proof I was told I still did not meet the requirements. What more proof do you want?!!! I have stopped doing the special offers except for watching the videos. Those do seem to credit for me 95% of the time.


There are some shady companies on the offers walls besides. You better be sure to have a good anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware systems on your computer but that goes for any web surfing these days. And be sure to use a separate email address you use only for junk because it will fill up with spam if you do the special offers.

After reading comments on the blog and facebook page I feel Swagbucks is aware of the problems with the special offers walls and yet they choose to do nothing about it. I feel they cheapen the Swagbucks site but apparently they are money makers for them. They are not the only site that has these offers. Many others do to.

The new surveys they offer are the same exact surveys as another company but if you do them through Swagbucks you will only receive half the amount you would if you signed up directly.


I pretty much stick with doing my searches through them, watching the videos, watching out for the special codes and that is it. I get about $20 extra spending money each month from that. I know others make a lot more but that is either with referrals or from signing up for offers you aren't truly interested in or cheating the system but I am not willing to do that.

Perhaps you should try some of the survey sites if you have had it with swagbucks. I do them through several online places. If you want some some recommendations click on my name to send me a message.

(*I do have one outstanding special offer that is still in process of being challenged. If they refuse me my points earned on that I WILL be contacting the BBB.)

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January 28, 20220 found this helpful

I feel this. I was just recently saddened by swagbucks. They were my go to, "bust my ass stay at home job. I would do surveys and offers in between taking care of my 2 small kids, taking an online class and going to work.


They credited quick n the first few times all while I got yelled at by my significant other for falling for this scam. Now it's harder to get credit I Ted or paid. I hope my bf wasn't right. It would destroy me

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I forgot to respond to this part of your message:
"Oh, that 450 swagbucks you need to receive a $5 Amazon gift card it is more like 500 to 520 swagbucks to redeem the gift card. If you have 450 the system will not allow you to cash in to receive the gift card. Yeah, this website is foul."

Are you sure you did not earn some of the special swagbucks from one of their partner sites? Those can only be used on their partner sites, not the regular swagbucks store.

To check: go to the home page, (log in), then click view account next to your name in the upper right. If you have points other than the regular they will show up there. If you have a few points from a partner site you can spend them on the Swagstakes from the regular swagstore but only once your regular points are down to zero. Hope that is not too confusing. If you have any questions click my name and send me a message.

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful

I haven't done any special offers, just the search. So far have received 6, $5 amazon gift certificates with no problem at all. As soon as get 450 pints I cash in.

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful

I've gotten $5 credited to my paypal account, a set of math tools, and a magazine subscription. No problems, but I don't do the special offers, just search with it. What I think is neat is they don't charge postage. Lots of sites say they give free stuff, but the postage charge would more than pay for the stuff. I hope your post doesn't discourage people, since most of us who responded are happy with swagbucks.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 278 Feedbacks
August 12, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry for your Swagbucks problem. I have done only one special offer and it did take about a week to get my 1,000 Swagbucks. I had no problem with that site at all. If I do searches I might as will get paid for them.

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful

I just wanted to agree with what others have said, I've used & loved swagbucks for years & have never experienced a single issue with the site. I have redeemed many Amazon gift cards & never had to use more "SB"'s than posted, I agree it may be a possibility, however, as there are a LOT of partner sites & if you have bucks with say the wwesearch or whatever, you can only use them at that site's "giftshop". I have many bucks with searchwithMaroon5 that I can't spend on the SB homepage, but they work just fine at M5's giftshop (just got a $20 Target giftcard, actually).

I have been using SwagBucks for years & have not once done one of the "special offers", it is clearly stated these are not required & are only if you really want those SB's (like, you're close to getting a particular item & just need a few more SB's), or perhaps are going to buy/try that product anyhow. I've gotten all of my SB's from searches & the rare swagcode, and no, I don't spend tons of time searching. I just use SB as my home page & from there I "search" for the sites I use every day (like gmail and Facebook, etc) & I've built up a nice amount of SB's just doing that.

I'm sorry you've had such trouble with the site.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your comments. You all have made my point of view stronger by stating that you do not participate in the special offers.

I posted this warning because when I joined Thrifty Fun I was so thankful for all of the postings that the members gave. All the good (coupons, deals, and thrifty ideas) and all of the bad (this product is not of good quality and this company does not value you as a customer). I want to give back to the site and let the next person know when they are researching Swag Bucks that when it comes to special offers you may complete the offer properly and honestly and Swag Bucks will not credit your account the right amount or may not credit your account at all.

I have been a member of Swag Bucks since the very beginning, 09 June 2003 when the site was called The site is fun! The idea is quite brilliant, receive virtual bucks for the something that you already do - search the web.

For years I have searched, participated in the polls, collected swag codes, downloaded the toolbar, and completed surveys all the while racking up serious swag bucks. I never took advantage of the special offers because my intuition told me that this could be a problem if you had to prove that you truthfully completed the offers. I continued to monitor the special offers and many were completely free such as signing up for a newsletter, watching a video, or requesting information for a offer that you had genuine interest. I should have continued to listen to that intuition because it was right all along. The problem only occurred recently when I decided to participate in the special offers. Please let me be very very clear. I know every aspect of Swag Bucks. There is a very clear distinction between the codes that are used for the sister sites (which I think are wonderful) and special offers. I am not referring to the swag codes that you receive and can be used only for the sister sites and not prizes at Swag Bucks. I am referring to the special offers like signing up for a newsletter, watching videos, and creating a new account with a company and requesting information to receive swag bucks.When these special offers are completed properly and honestly then Swag Bucks should credit your account without delay and members should not have to challenge the inquiry with "sending screen shots of proof and copy & pasting confirmation emails as proof". Kaelle, that is outrageous and only strengthens by case that when it comes to special offers (repeat special offers) Swag Bucks is engaging in fraudulent behavior. I have met some wonderful people because of this site and they all have said stay far away from the special offers. Swag Bucks does not play fair when it comes to the special offers and does not credit your account properly. Kaelle you stated, "I only seem to get credit about 40% of the time." That is not fair. If you completed the offer properly then you should receive 100% of the swag bucks offered. I know for a fact that Swag Bucks receives a very nice referral fee when members take advantage of these special offers. For Swag Bucks to make a great deal of money from our participation in these special offers and then turn around and not award the members the proper credit for this participation is just wrong. With regards to the special offers Swag Bucks is con artist.

Kaelle, thank you for the heads up in regards to survey sites. I belong to quite a few and love how I can double up and belong to the actual survey site and still qualify for the same surveys through Swag Bucks.

I have met so many people that belong to several "swag bucks communities" and after talking to so many people and reading between 45 to 85 posts many people have reported that when they initially tried to redeem their bucks for the $5 Amazon e-gift card the system would not allow them to complete the request. They all had to wait until they had anywhere from 500 to 520 swag bucks in their account in order to redeem the prize. This is another area that Swag Bucks is not being completely honest.

Once again, thank you all for your comments. I really value this community. My intentions with this post are true and sincere. Swag Bucks has a B- rating with the Better Business Bureau. This means that the site has acted less than honest on many occasions and not given proper credit to many member accounts. If my posting does discourage some from joining then that is their decision. Some may have success with the site and by all indications from the BBB rating a lot have not had success with the site. Most of you who responded are happy with Swag Bucks because you stay far away from the special offers which is the platform of my post. If I can save someone the frustration and time by warning them of how shady the special offers are then the goal was met with success.

P.S. Kaelle, good luck with the one outstanding special offer. I hope that you receive the full credit for the offer and there will be no need to contact the BBB. I respect what the BBB stands for but many times they can be very ineffective in getting matters resolved. At the very least your complaint is on record. Best of luck to you. =)

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December 4, 20100 found this helpful

You seem not to understand that these special offer companies work through all the search and rewards sites, as well as many game sites. They have the same poor track record everywhere. I speak from experience. I do special offers on all the sites and on several Facebook games. and the same companies I have problems with on Swag Bucks, I have problems with elsewhere. Swag Bucks is the only site I use that will go to bat for me with the offer companies, and force them to comply and credit me. The other sites / game companies seem to care less.

This does not make Swag Bucks the scam. It is the offer companies, and I have filed BBB reports against them for being fraudulent, stealing information, and not keeping their contractual obligations.

Have you ever bothered to try following the process? Inquiry with the offer company, and if it does not pan out, follow it up with Swag Bucks? Every time I follow the process, I get my swagbucks credited, quickly.

I'll tell you one thing- you won't get squat if you try to use fake information. Not saying that is what you do, but when you play by the rules, and take the steps necessary, you get paid.

Quit blaming Swag Bucks and start posting your anger about the real criminal, OfferPal / TapJoy, Gambit, TrialPay, PaymentWall, gWallet, and SuperRewards. They are the fraudulent scammers.

By the way, $300 worth of gift card and PayPal redemptions in the last four months is proof that Swag Bucks is not a scam.

And as far as needing more than the listed price, that is Wrong. You must have had swagbucks from partner sites in your total. If you go to View Account, you see just how many regular swagbucks you have, and how many partner bucks. Just yesterday I hit 0 swagbucks buying a $5 Amazon card.. from 450. So you are completely misinformed. Sorry.

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December 4, 20100 found this helpful

That is a bunch of hogwash, Swagbucks is so not a scam, all of these sites are using the special offers for us to have opportunities to earn more, they don't own them, they just use them, they don't have any control over them, they are all ...independent 3rd party companies. I myself would like to see them pay out for the offers, but, if they don't that is purely up to US as the consumer to report their bad business practices to proper channels. Swagbucks does not own or have any say in what they decide to pay out, I myself would think it would suck if they were completely removed because, for the offers I do get to credit I've made literally up in the thousands of Swagbucks from them. If they were gone? My Swagbucks account would be poor. lol

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December 19, 20100 found this helpful

I have had only positives with Swagbucks so far. I joined about four months ago and have redeemed one $25 dollar amazon gift certificate and eight $5 ones so I am pretty happy with them. I only do offers that are free and require no download and with the exception of a few of the many offers I have done, I have always been credited so far.

The way to really earn on swagbucks is to have people sign up under you then you I get the same amount they get in swagbucks when they search the internet. I was fortunate to have three people sign up under me, and have been able to benefit from their searches also...however you are only allowed to make 1000 swagbucks off of each referral so soon they will drop off and I will only be earning from myself.

I don't think they are a scam, since I know to many people personally that have received their gift certificates, however I do agree that sometimes you don't get credit for an offer you may try and trying to do a survey on there is a rolling of the eyes experience, but to call it a scam and to warn people away from it. I don't agree with that assessment at all. You had a very bad experience for sure, and it would certainly leave a negative feeling, but overall I stand with my feelings, that yes you can make some easy enough gift certificates, but it is a slow process unless you have a few referrals, by slow I mean that by yourself and with out doing offers, you will probably only garner up maybe 25 or 30 swagbucks a day, and as stated in the other post, it takes 450 swagbucks to get a amazon $5. gift card. So if you want to kick it in the behind and get a hundred or more swagbucks a day, you really need to do the offers or to have a couple of friends sign up under you, then you don't have to do much of anything.

If I had to give a grade of 1-10 for swagbucks and for it paying out. I would give it between a 7 and a 8.

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April 20, 20120 found this helpful

I tried some of the "free" offers and out of seven of them I only get credit for one. Even the ones that say they credit instantly never do. Yes, I clicked on the link sent to me to verify my account. Yes, I provided honest information. What makes it worse is the "customer service" link you need to click to get help from TrialPay doesn't work.

Surveys in general are a scam. They collect information from you the second you answer the first question. If 5,000 people fill out their age, location, occupation, if they plan to buy or lease a car in the next six months etc etc then they are getting information for free. I spent ten minutes on a survey and was asked the same questions over and over then I was told that I did not qualify for the survey.

Swag Bucks isn't a scam but they don't do anything to help members get things resolved so in a round about way they are leaving the door open for companies to leech off of members.

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September 22, 20120 found this helpful

I currently use the Swag Bucks web site. I have only had an offer not give me swag bucks once, I emailed them and got a response back in less than 12 hours, and my bucks were credited. Sorry you had such a bad experience, but for most people it's pretty good. I'm about to redeem credit for a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, so I have no complaints!

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November 10, 20120 found this helpful

I have been using swabucks for about a year now. Very rarely do I have an issue with them, like once, maybe twice. Nothing is full-proof. I have received over $500 in gift cards. Sometimes it does take a while for me to receive my swagbucks, but I still get them. It's a good program.

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February 13, 20130 found this helpful

I've been using swag bucks for 2 months. I have $200 in gift cards, and about to buy another $50 one. The offers credit, EXCEPT for Paymentwall offers. You are knowingly going into the site for offers. It has a tab and says the company name. I just don't do Paymentwall offers, ever. Swag bucks cannot credit you if the company that posts the offer (ie payment wall) makes a decision not to. It isn't a hoax or scam whatsoever. I love Swagbucks. You should definitely sign up again!

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October 12, 20131 found this helpful

They are closing most of their accounts when you will try to reedem ur swagbucks by giving excuses that you are running multiple accounts. If they have to close the accounts why do they wait for 10 days for me and when I try to redeem after completing 3700 bucks yheu deactivated my account.

This is a Scam as I know I was using only one account and I asked them to provide me the name of other account which I am using they did not answer till now. Don't sign up they will pay only 1 out of 1 lac customers.

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November 5, 20130 found this helpful

You just have to know what works and what doesn't. I watch videos, searches, and some offers. Most of the time, I don't waste my time with surveys because if they don't credit, what a waste of time. I try to make the goal everyday because at the end of the month, it's a hefty bonus. I'm suspicious of people who say they've been accused of having multiple accounts when they don't. I've been using them for over a year and that has never been an issue for me and I've cashed $50 about every month and a half. I think they know when people are being honest and I find it funny that people get offended for being accused of having multiple accounts and they actually do.

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August 16, 20210 found this helpful

I have used Swagbucks for over 5 years. I have always been paid by them. To say that Swagbucks is a scam is inaccurate to the point of slander.

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August 22, 20210 found this helpful

Received the same problems I do not get credit for any of the large offers this site is a complete scam so I would not even consider dealing with at all anymore. It is complete fraud and don't know how they haven't been shut down. I have contacted the company's that advertised and told them of complete fraud thats going on and making them look bad just doing buisness and I canceled whatever the company was selling and that's why.

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October 26, 20210 found this helpful

I know a way to get around passing the Surveys. You just lie. Recently they just got a new partnering program and I have not been booted out of a Survey yet.

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December 14, 20210 found this helpful

I had 530 points yesterday. Today it only says 411. So I should have redeemed 500 points yesterday instead of going for the 1000 points. There is no where to ask why this was done to me.

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January 27, 20220 found this helpful

Total scam. I think we need a class action lawsuit

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October 10, 20220 found this helpful

i had over 4500 swagbucks.... i wanted to claim a $25 gift card... months later no gift card... after awhile they don't want to pay you what you earn..... avoid after a certain point.

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