Jason Freeman is the CEO/founder of Enos Answers LLC. He can be reached at jason.freeman@enosanswers.com.

For the past 20 years, I have worked in the health care market research industry overseeing the global panel fielding of health care studies. One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen during that time is the need for improved detection and elimination of survey fraudsters attempting to enroll in paid survey panels.

Often, you will see and hear conversations about ways to safeguard the quality of primary research data collection. The proposed solutions include asking your online sampling provider the ESOMAR36 questions, optimizing survey design, adding traps, deploying joker checks, adding red-herring questions and purchasing the latest fraud detection technology. While these solutions are important safeguards in their respective areas, they only address the chronic symptoms of survey fraudsters, not the root cause.

One of the best pieces of advice I received in during my health care research career was, “Trust but verify.” If you are passionate about survey data quality, here are some of my panel research rules that will be thought-provoking topics for your next call with your sampling provider. 

Do you allow wedding crashers?

The idea of attending a wedding uninvited became popular after the movie “Wedding Crashers.” These uninvited guests have no concern or respect. They simply arrive to take advantage of the free food and drinks. The best way to avoid such an alarming ruckus is to ensure only invited and desired guests know the time and location of the event. Similarly, the panel enrollment process should be by invitation only. 

It is alarming how many open-enrollment links with “click here to join/register” are posted on websites, social media and paid advertising venues. These links are a beacon for fraudulent activity and an unending supervision nightmare for those attempti...