The rise of the internet has created many opportunities for individuals who want to work at home. For some people, the best (and easiest) way to do so is through affiliate marketing. Sadly, just like any other business out there, affiliate marketing is not without scams. There are scam artists out there who will try to steal your commissions from you.
The best protection against commission thieves is to be educated about how they do it. Here are some things you need to watch out for:
Traffic diversion and parasite sites.
If you sell your own products and services, make sure you get to know all of your affiliates. If you don't keep track of who they are, you could end up losing sales. They could divert traffic from your legitimate offer by sending visitors to their fraud site. An example of this would be an affiliate who replaces the buy link to your offer with a buy link to their own offer. Keeping track of your affiliates and links to your product is the best way to counter this.
Cloning your content.
Scammers will sometimes try to clone affiliate websites by making exact replicas of them and tricking visitors into sending them the money. Even if you're only trying to promote other peoples' products as an affiliate yourself, you're still not immune to this type of scam. People will try to steal your content and trick people into sending them money as a phishing scam. When innocent people are cheated out of their money, this makes you and the companies you promote look bad.
You can keep this from happening by regularly running your content through plagiarism checkers. Do searches for any keywords associated with you, the products and services you're promoting, and any company or partner with whom you're working.
Making illegal transactions.
There is always the possibility that you will lose your commission because somebody paid for the item with a stolen credit card. The purchase will result in cancellation or chargeback. To prevent this from happening you need to be careful with your choice of affiliate network. There should be security measures in place to ensure that the credit card numbers, identities, IPs, etc… are all verified before the transactions are finalized.
Using domain names with typos as a source of traffic is nothing new. A lot of legit companies will buy multiple variations of their domain in bulk in order to take advantage of the fact that many people make typos when entering website addresses in their browsers.
The problem is that scammers are starting to do this as well. This usually goes hand in hand with the content stealing. They will trick people into thinking that the site they are visiting is really yours so they can steal your affiliate commissions. Not only will this cost you money, it will ruin your brand name since they are using fraudulent tactics to cheat people out of money. In order to prevent you from finding out, they might block your IP so that you won't be able to actually view the site. They can do this by banning IPs from the area in which your company resides.
The good news is that there are a couple of ways you can fight this kind of fraud. For starters, use a good tool to help you track down domains. There are helpful tools and resources available to help you make a list of possible typos of your domain name and company name.
If you suspect that somebody might be trying to profit with the use of your domain name typos, try visiting the site(s) from different locations just in case they are blocking your IP. Try accessing them in different locations at different times.
Now you understand the various methods scammers use to steal your affiliate commissions. You must take on an active role when it comes to looking for (and dealing with) affiliate fraud.
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Lina Stakauskaite works at Click2Sell (www.click2sell.org) Affiliate Network. Click2Sell provides the opportunity to track all aspects of affiliate campaigns, visitors, sales, referrer sources, keywords that bring real sales. It is secure and reliable affiliate network. Promote or sell products online with Click2Sell. Visit Click2Sell and check it by yourself.
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