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How to Prevent Affiliate Fraud?

Affiliate marketing is rapidly becoming a key revenue stream for several digital media companies. Criminals exploit loopholes in monitoring and attribution systems to collect unjustified commissions, which are harmful to merchants and their companies. If you are a vendor who wants to make money from affiliate marketing, then you must learn how to prevent affiliate fraud.

A variety of pricing schemes provide varied payment periods to affiliates. Each pricing model, however, contains flaws that fraudsters may exploit. This blog article discusses affiliate fraud and the most common strategies scammers use. I will also discuss how to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous persons and spot fraud.

Pricing Models and Fraud Schemes

  • CPA (Cost Per Action). In this strategy, you pay an affiliate when a specific activity, such as a sale, registration, or click, is completed. Using stolen credit card data and false IDs, affiliate scammers might finish the conversion.
  • CPI (Cost Per Impression) and CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions). These price models relate to each possible consumer who views the ad and every thousand potential customers who watch the ad. In this situation, fraudsters create bogus websites and employ bots to increase the number of ad views.
  • CPL (Cost Per Lead). The affiliate receives a commission when a potential consumer signs up. It might entail filling out a registration form or signing up for a newsletter. Fraudulent affiliates can alter client data, populate forms with bots, and even offer opt-out lists instead of opt-ins.
  • Influencers. Companies will give away their products for free to an internet celebrity with a large enough audience, such as a blogger or a fashion influencer. In this case, fraudulent people have a lot of flexibility for the deception, such as creating phony accounts and inflating the statistics with bot comments and views.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click). Affiliate publishers get compensated based on the number of ad clicks. In this way, scammers deceive unsuspecting visitors into clicking on clickable links or faking clicks using automated tools.

How to Prevent Affiliate Fraud?

No one is impervious to affiliate marketing scams, and there is always the possibility that unscrupulous individuals are targeting or have already exploited your company. It is crucial to examine the integrity of your affiliates, especially if you run a small or newly-founded business.

Choose Your Affiliates Wisely

Begin being wary of potential affiliate partners as soon as possible. For example, you may go through a multi-step application procedure and personally confirm new affiliates. Be sure to check out potential affiliates’ websites and make sure their content is relevant to your company’s products.

Once you approve a new affiliate and begin working together, your terms of service must be clear and straightforward to avoid future misunderstandings. Legal professionals must review your affiliate policy for loopholes that fraudsters might exploit.

Traffic Monitoring

Monitoring your affiliate statistics regularly and actively increases your chance of spotting affiliate fraud. You can detect sudden traffic surges, page redirections, and an unusually high number of sales from the same IP address.

Keeping a database for your partners is essential. Thus, you can observe how many prospects they send and what percentage of them complete the conversion step. After a period, you will have enough data to assess your affiliates and tell the difference between honest and dishonest partners.

Proxy Usage

Testing affiliate links is one technique to see if your advertising partners are reliable. Residential proxies are the best match for this work since they allow you to examine localized affiliate material using IPs from the desired region.

Furthermore, if you have a large number of affiliate links to examine, you will most likely want to streamline the process. Some websites may see these testing bots as suspicious, resulting in bans. A proxy hides your IP address in these cases. You can also use rotating proxies to switch IPs at your leisure. These precautions will allow you to appear like a genuine user while avoiding unpleasant blockages.

Advertisers must be strategic to prevent wasting money on advertisements. A fraudulent campaign goes undetected, and you end up paying for useless clicks and impressions. You may use a proxy to ensure that your advertising is legal and the affiliate links are compliant. Also, you can check if they appear correctly for the appropriate location, demographics, and at the appropriate time.

Proxies to Prevent Affiliate Fraud

For affiliate testing, most firms employ residential proxies. These proxy IP addresses are rented straight from an ISP or an end-user by proxy services. As a consequence, they are considered real users’ IP addresses. Residential proxies are very helpful for geo-targeting a precise area. Websites do not immediately identify them since their IPs are legitimate. Hence, you are unlikely to get banned.

Even though websites detect much more easily datacenter proxies, you can still utilize them for affiliate link verification. This type of proxy is fast and ideal if you only want to perform A/B testing on several affiliate URLs.

It is critical to understand good proxies are not inexpensive. Most social networks and other websites already block free proxies. As a result, they will ban your accounts, which will take extra time and money.

Fraudsters can hide their footprints extremely effectively and notice when you monitor them. Therefore, you must look anonymous to follow your affiliate links. As a result, you will want several IP addresses that are both fast and anonymous.


If you want to make sure your affiliates aren’t up to anything dodgy, you should monitor their activities without being noticed. Proxies can provide you with improved anonymity, allowing you to spy on your affiliate program associates without them knowing.

Although affiliate marketing is among the most effective methods of driving visitors to internet companies, it is not without drawbacks. Affiliate fraud may significantly harm your company’s financial situation and image. However, you may always take precautions to prevent affiliate fraud. You can, for example, closely monitor traffic and employ proxies.