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Fraud Prevention Tips For Affiliate Marketing

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Fraudulent affiliate marketing is attempting to take advantage of marketing opportunities offered by your company. The method can be done by sending spam traffic to your site or by using bots to generate affiliate rewards. Whatever the case may be, it involves an affiliate relationship in which the other party takes advantage of deceptive practices to take your money.

Affiliate Fraud: How Does It Work?

Fraudulent affiliate programs can follow a variety of schemes, depending on how you handle your payments:

Cost-per-lead (CPL)

The affiliate receives payment when the user completes a registration form, signs up for a newsletter, or simply delivers the correct user information. If you work with an affiliate who is dishonest, they are likely to deliver bad customer data, have bots fill out forms, or even provide opt-out lists instead of opt-in lists.

Cost-per-Click (CPC)

Affiliates are paid according to the number of clicks on their ads. It is common for fraudsters to use bots to automate the clicks on links so that they can trick unsuspecting users into clicking the links.

Cost-per-Mile (CPM)

The M, in this case, refers to Mille, which refers to every thousand impressions. In order to increase the number of impressions, fraudsters use fake websites, bots, or even multiple ads stacked on top of each other to raise the number of impressions.

Influencer model

Offer freebies to online personalities who are popular enough to attract an audience. However, fraudsters are also not shy to set up fake accounts and boost their followers by using bots to view or comment on their posts. For that purpose, there is a whole cottage industry for boosting social profiles. 

Prevention Methods

In light of our better understanding of affiliate fraud and the different ways it can take place, it makes sense to learn how to prevent it. The following are three effective methods for preventing affiliate fraud.

1. Engage Affiliates In Careful Screening And Communication

In order to prevent fraud, the right vetting process can be used to ensure affiliates are legit from the beginning. Among other things, you may want to set up a multi-step process for applying and configuring it to require new affiliates to be manually approved:

As you screen potential affiliates, ensure they have a functioning, trustworthy website with content that relates to the products or services you offer. By doing so, you can reduce the chances of a bad actor getting into your network undetected.

2. Analyze Traffic And Program Performance Closely

Identifying illegal or suspicious activity in your affiliate program is difficult without monitoring the program actively. Through regular and close monitoring of affiliate marketing analytics, you will be able to identify a sudden increase in traffic, a noticeable influx of redirects, or suspicious transactions that appear to be coming from a single IP address.

3. Disable Suspicious IP Addresses And Unreliable Affiliates

There are mistakes to be made, and not all abnormal behaviors within the affiliate program indicate that you are dealing with a cybercriminal. In any case, it’s always better to be on the safe side.

In the event that the same user repeatedly displays questionable behavior in violation of your terms of service, the best course of action is to remove them. It’s not worth risking the integrity of your entire affiliate program to lose out on revenue caused by one negligent, dishonest, or greedy affiliate.


The affiliate marketing industry is a successful, highly efficient, and popular way to increase sales, generate revenue and promote products. Nevertheless, it’s essential to take precautions and be proactive in order to ensure that your campaign and program are protected from scammers.

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