Get paid to search the internet?

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I hate those scam artists who advertise "get paid just for looking at web pages" or "get paid for taking surveys" or some other similar enticement. These are almost nothing more than scams. Often, they're in the form of a pyramid scheme, where you may get a few pennies for your efforts, but hopefully you can build a pyramid below you that will help more cash flow your way.

This opportunity to get paid for searching the internet is legitimate, but with a catch. Microsoft is trying to bribe users into using its "Live Search" for their web searching needs. The program offers advertising funded "cash rebates" for those who use Live Search to find and buy products. So you won't just get paid to sit around and use Live Search. No, you've got to purchase things based upon your search results. The payout? 2% to 15% of your purchase price as a rebate from Microsoft.

This doesn't excite me in the least. I've never used Microsoft's search engines because I hate the company's websites in general. There's too much advertising and too many attempts by Microsoft to "offer things tailored to my preferences" (that means spying on me and placing ads that they think I'll like). That just doesn't appeal to me. I (and many others, I suspect) will just stick with Google, thank you very much.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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