13 Warning Signs to Help With Affiliate Fraud Detection
We all know performance marketing tactics are a valuable and lucrative way to gain traffic…but how many of those visitors are legitimate?
Do you know how scammers may target you through your affiliate program? Knowing that is the first step to crafting a comprehensive affiliate fraud detection and prevention strategy.
This article will look at how affiliate marketing scams work, along with some of the most common indicators of abuse. We’ll also show how to respond and how to prevent affiliate fraud before it happens.
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How Does Affiliate Fraud Work?
Affiliate fraud can be a somewhat opaque topic. Basically, though, it covers any scam that involves affiliate marketing.
There are a lot of scammers who try to take advantage of advertisers and claim unearned commissions. They may use deceptive tactics to funnel fake or bad traffic to the advertiser’s site. Some may even use stolen credentials to impersonate buyers and submit fraudulent purchases.
Advertisers are on the hook for this bad traffic and fraudulent activity. Even worse, many of these instances can lead to chargebacks, meaning the advertiser pays out unearned commissions, then gets re-victimized when the cardholder disputes the purchase.Learn more about affiliate fraud
Why is Affiliate Fraud so Hard to Detect?
Much of the affiliate marketing process is automated, saving time and effort for all parties. However, this lack of direct human oversight gives fraudsters opportunities to hijack the operation and twist it to their own ends.
For consumers, avoiding affiliate scams can be as easy as recognizing a suspicious link or spammy ad. On the other hand, merchants aren’t targeted in the same flashy ways. They don’t have a lot of oversight regarding the day-to-day practices of their affiliates. Therefore, it can be a lot more difficult for merchants to identify when they’ve been hit by fraud.
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Also, there are plenty of tactics used by unscrupulous affiliates. New affiliate fraud threats develop constantly. Fraudsters rely on staying ahead of the curve to continue cheating advertisers and scoring unearned commissions.
The key to protecting yourself, as well as your clients and customers, is to identify threats by common indicators and separate bad traffic from good traffic.
Top 13 “Red Flags” for Affiliate Fraud
Inventive scammers can leverage anything from adware and domain squatting to manipulating postback URLs and discount codes.
Below, we’ve identified 13 of the most common fraud indicators to help with affiliate fraud detection:
These indicators can help you identify some of the more obvious affiliate scams. However, there’s a simple reason why performance marketing abuse is so pervasive.
Put simply: affiliate fraud detection is tough.
It’s hard to pick up on the signs of affiliate fraud. It’s even harder to predict accurately. So, how do you effectively respond to red flags without wasting time and money?
Get Proactive About Affiliate Fraud Detection
Spotting fraud after the fact is reactive; you can’t do much about affiliate fraud once it happens. That’s why you need to take a proactive approach
You have to ask yourself these three key questions:
How do you find the answer to these questions, though? With careful data analysis, of course.
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You need to organize your data in a way that lets you easily decipher and delve into the numbers. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing “data blindness.” You should build reports based on past patterns and successful fraud attacks, and think about what triggered these incidents. Research the tactics these scammers employed to separate you from your money and learn the warning signs that could have tipped you off before the transaction.
You should also monitor the fraud space just as closely as you watch your customer complaints and feedback. Keeping up on new and developing trends will help you be ready before they become a problem.
How to Protect Your Business From Affiliate Fraud
Once you understand what fraud looks like on your network, you can put the practices in place to target and eliminate those scams. Put that knowledge to work by adopting best practices to prevent fraud. Here are just a few key guidelines that can help stop affiliate marketing scams dead in their tracks:
Of course, the best way to keep fraud from getting out of hand is to use a specifically created tool to identify and block affiliate marketing scams.
Chargebacks911’s Affiliate Fraud Shield is a first-of-its-kind product created to help advertisers and affiliate networks mitigate the risk of affiliate fraud. This tool employs a combination of human forensic expertise with machine learning technology to score individual transactions for fraud, flag bad traffic, and protect you against criminals.
Affiliate Fraud Shield gives you the power to intercept fraud, stop bad traffic, and protect your revenue stream. Don’t fall victim to another affiliate marketing scam…contact us today and learn how much you will save.