There are many sites online that promise you that you could be paid to surf the Internet, take surveys or to click on ads. Unfortunately, most of these are scams that will take your money and run. Any site that promises that they can show you how to make money online is tempting, but most programs are either illegal or not workable, and you should take caution before becoming involved in one.
Paid to Surf Schemes
You should never pay a company to "work for them", especially if this company is online. Most paid to surf sites take money from new members, and use it to pay old members or not pay anyone at all (and keep the money).
Though valid sites do exist, these sites do not always work, and even if they do work, there is no guaranteed payment until you reach a certain money amount (which could take weeks, months or even years).
Paid to Click Schemes
These companies advertise that you can make money by clicking on ads in their website. Again, you should never pay to sign up for one of these sites.
Like paid to surf schemes, these sites generally require you to wait to reach a "payout amount" before getting paid. Most of the time each ad clicked gives you between .01-.05 cents, and you are required to view the ad for at least 30 seconds, making the most a person could make under the right circumstances be $6.00 an hour. Though some sites allow you to network your friends onto the site (and you would make a percentage of what they make), most of the time there are only 20 available ads a day for viewing, giving the view a maximum amount of $1.00 to work that day.
Paid to Take Survey Schemes
Another "free money" program offered online is being paid to take surveys. Many of these offer surveys in exchange for a subscription to their site. Again, be very wary when giving anyone your credit card number.
There are also sites that claim to be free, and after signing up for them, they will give you a couple of surveys to fill out before getting additional surveys. Generally, one will be a "personality" survey in which they could "get to know you better" so they could give you surveys that would relate to you. This would be less scary if the second "practice" survey didn't require you to give them your social security number.
Social Networking Schemes
Some social networking sites promise to pay you for social networking. Most of these sites will give you .01-.25 cents for every 1000 views you either get on your site or when you click on someone else's site. While most of these do not ask you for money or for your social security number, it isn't worth your time, and as with other schemes, you must reach the minimum payout before ever receiving a check.
While some good sites are out there that won't steal your money or identity, it is impossible to discern them from the scams, and unfortunately for every one good site, there are 50 scams standing along side it promising you wealth.
Though they may be good for that "extra 5 bucks a month", make sure you are doing something else that will give you the income you need. Just remember not to get your hopes up in becoming rich with these sites and to never give out personal information on them.