How to Avoid Fraud in Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing helps companies market their products efficiently. The benefits of affiliate marketing are well known. Marketers can work with lower budgets, use fewer resources to market products, and achieve a higher return on investment.
The advantages of affiliate marketing cannot be underestimated, but some difficulties may arise with this marketing strategy. One such challenge is affiliate marketing scams.

By 2022, the value of affiliate marketing will be $8 billion. As a result, the industry is becoming an increasingly attractive target for fraud. In 2020, world marketers were expected to lose $1.4 billion from affiliate marketing scams. This means that marketers may find themselves as affiliates paying for non-existent contributions to sales and profits.

81% of marketers use affiliate marketing to increase their company’s revenue. Affiliates market products on your behalf and receive a share of each sale made. In some cases, 20% of brand revenue comes from affiliate marketing. When dealing with such large numbers, your company should know how to reduce affiliate marketing fraud issues.

What is Affiliate Scam?

Affiliate marketing scam refers to illegal behavior used to obtain higher commission levels from an affiliate program. This term covers all activities that fall outside the outlined terms and conditions of any affiliate program. Fraud is a problem in many industries, and affiliate marketing is no different.

Affiliates earn commissions through cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-acquisition (CPA), cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost-per-impression (CPM) models. Depending on the measure, affiliate marketing scammers will try different tactics that undermine your program and cost you money.

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With a cloud solution architect, SaaS companies can improve their security. However, technological developments make it difficult to detect some fraudulent behavior, especially in sectors such as digital marketing. This is because fraud is not always as obvious and obvious as it seems.

Companies constantly improve their terms and conditions and can use the best online legal services to reduce the risk of fraud.

Types of Affiliate Scams

For many years, affiliate marketing scams have reared its head in a number of ways. Previously, it could include auto-refreshing pages, constant background pop-ups, spam and referral links or purchased website traffic. Companies have cleverly used many of the tactics affiliate marketing scammers use to play the system, but other methods are now becoming more obvious.

Plagiarism of Other Partner Content

Plagiarizing affiliate content is a way to generate search traffic by stealing it from other affiliate marketers. This tactic breaks copyright laws and negatively affects other affiliate marketers in any program.

Cookie stuffing is a problematic practice to track and detect. Third-party cookies from websites unrelated to the affiliate are left in the background. This tactic simulates an ad click even if the user has never done so.


Typosquatting is a tactic that targets misspelled URL queries. Like phone scammers who engage in voice phishing to impersonate legitimate businesses, scammers can use typos to impersonate businesses online. People can use misspelled URLs to impersonate the original site and redirect users to malicious websites.

Adware and Spyware

An affiliate can deliver perceived value and entice users to download apps. Affiliate can add spyware that automatically adds affiliate links without the user’s knowledge. Only use certified tools to remove adware from your device.

Stolen Data

Using stolen data to generate leads and sales for your company is illegal. By using bots, a person can abuse contact forms. Bots can click on links and ads, then use real human data to fill out forms.

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Ways to Prevent Affiliate Scams

Affiliate marketing scams are not invisible. Companies can monitor and identify strategies and tactics that resemble fraudulent behavior. To reduce the risks of affiliate marketing scams, your company can try the following tactics.

Outline Clear Terms and Conditions

Clearly define acceptable strategies and practices in your affiliate marketing program. Outline detailed terms and conditions that will legally protect your company and deter scammers from defrauding your program. When you expose affiliates that are behaving illegally or inappropriately, you can remove them from your affiliate marketing program without any consequences.

Review Your Affiliates and Contact Regularly

You’ve probably come across the proverb: “Prevention is better than cure.” It’s easier to prevent your company from getting into bed with the wrong affiliates than solving problems with them later. You should run due diligence checks to verify the eligibility of potential affiliates for your affiliate program. Knowing partners can increase efficiency and effectiveness in marketing teams.

Check websites and social media channels. Evaluate how they use media outlets against your own digital marketing strategies. Look at the affiliate’s potential backlink strategies and marketing practices. Consider whether the potential affiliate’s brand is compatible with yours. If there are red flags in your assessment, they could be indicators of your relationship going forward.

By using online meeting applications, you can regularly communicate with your affiliates. You should periodically connect with your affiliates so that you can learn about their strategies.

Improve Digital Security

You can invest in digital asset security and management solutions to protect your company and its affiliates from fraudulent behavior. The last thing a company needs is to be the cause of successful fraud attacks. You need to make sure that your customers’ data is under lock and key. Data security can reduce the likelihood of transactions using stolen data.

You can increase your data security by adding authentication to customer activities, encrypting data, and storing data in appropriate locations. Whether you use in-house or external data management solutions, you need to make sure your security is tight. This way, you can tell when new or unusual behavior occurs in customer accounts.

Block Suspicious Web Behavior

Your company needs to monitor the IP addresses of users who make purchases through your affiliate marketing program. You’ll want to watch out for IP addresses that sell multiple and look suspicious. It may be wise to reject copies of IPs that convert multiple times, as this could be a sign of fraudulent behavior.

It’s great to monitor IP addresses as each device connected to the internet is assigned one. In this way, you can verify the general geography of the processing devices and check the user’s internet service provider (ISP). It will also be possible to check if the IP address is blacklisted anywhere. If IP addresses fail these simple checks, it can look like fraudulent behavior.

Monitoring Data

Marketers dive deep into data and analytics to evaluate the success of their marketing strategy. You should likewise carefully monitor your affiliate marketing program. You can monitor affiliate marketing keywords, traffic data, and other key metrics to evaluate your affiliate marketers’ campaign performance.

If there are spikes in traffic, the affiliate may be doing inappropriate practices. In-depth analysis can help you spot other fraud patterns in your affiliate program. Are there sales and conversions that seem illogical? Perhaps you uncover conversions from unusual geographic locations or an unreasonably high click-through rate with no conversions.

After a long period of time between the click and the purchase, you may find that the conversions are complete. These are dubious sources of lead generation or sales. It is easier to uncover fraudulent behavior in your affiliate marketing program by digging through the data and evaluating different elements according to varying criteria.

Use Fraud Prevention Platforms

Great SaaS marketing tools and strategies are undermined when your affiliate marketing program is scammed. Some tools and technologies can assist your fraud prevention efforts. Some companies use voice recognition software and voice biometrics to improve customer phone call security.

Similarly, anti-fraud platforms can flag suspicious activity when it occurs. This means you can recognize suspicious behavior in your affiliate marketing program before paying commissions. Fraud prevention platforms will give you a sense of security and peace of mind when paying affiliate marketers for their work.

Invest in Fraud Prevention

Every company should focus on reducing affiliate marketing scams, as the effects can be devastating. It can affect a company’s reputation, the reputation of its affiliate program, and damage trust in its brand. Conversely, you can successfully prevent affiliate marketing scams. Instead, it will free up resources for you to focus on developing deep and lasting partnership relationships.

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