Pinecone Research

Has anyone heard of this company? Is it legit? They sent me checks and info for a Western Union Research shop,

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They don't do that kind of work. There is, indeed a PineCone Research. It is somewhat difficult to sign up with them. Once you sign up they offer you a few on line surveys to do (or not do) during the month and pay $3 plus an entry into a monthly drawing. THEY DO NOT SEND CHECKS IN ADVANCE. THEY DO NOT ASK YOU TO CASH THE CHECKS AND WIRE MONEY VIA WESTERN UNION.

What you have in your hand is the standard classic scam and should you choose to deposit the checks, they will bounce. Should you choose to wire transfer the money away, you will be the loser. The scammers use names of legitimate companies and checks forged with the names of legitimate companies. Don't be a victim.
Give the checks to your local police department so they can send to the proper channels.
As far as I know, Pinecone sends out email invitations of surveys and pays fee via paypal. All the surveys that I did for them were about product reviews and opinions.
I have worked with Pinecone in the past. I had email invitation sent to me. When I was working with them, I was sent a check for $5. They never send a check to you before you do the assignment. They never dealt with Western Union not when I was working with them.
And they haven't paid $5 in some time. They cut their fees to $3 + plus a 'sweepstakes' entry for I think it is a monthly drawing. In all my years of shopping and being on forums I have heard of one shopper who won a $10 gift card in a 'sweepstakes' and it was from a client of the MSP having the 'sweepstakes'. While I still will occasionally do a PineCone for $3 because the money is generally in Paypal the next business day, I never place any value whatsoever on the 'sweepstakes' as my sense is that they are bogus. Pay me instead and I'll buy a lottery ticket for a $20+ million prize if I choose to gamble.
I won a $10 GC for Amazon from MFI a few months ago for a doing a survey that the email saying the first 100 shoppers arrived in my inbox wile I was online. It took 3 minutes. I would not have done it if I had not been reading while it arrived.

I do not do the survey company's at all, and I rarely do surveys, so I cannot speak to PR or how and when they pay.

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“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
Somebody is using Pinecone's name to scam. Pinecone is actually legitimate and have been for quite some time. I have scammers sending emails to me using MSC names too.

I get 1-2 surveys a week from Pinecone. At least one of them is for $3 (sometimes both) the other for a sweepstakes entry. The surveys I have done so far are about 15 minutes or less. I always have gotten paid by check. They are sent within a week. I usually do not do the sweepstakes surveys unless I am bored.

Forgive my grammar and spelling on the boards. I am off duty.
Just be careful because some of the sweepstakes only ones are screeners for the paid work. You don't do the screener, you won't see the paid survey.
I use to work for pinecone research back in the day. I never got that much. The only thing I got $5 a couple a times and free products.
Regarding MSC Sweepstakes: I actually won a $50 prepaid MasterCard last year. It was from a new MSC that was gathering information about shoppers'preferences, etc. I'm usually so NOT lucky, I nearly fainted.
Someone, somewhere stated that Pinecone was currently recruiting; just not me. I was unceremoniously refused.
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