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4 Tips to Avoiding Affiliate Fraud

Aug 17, 2007
As long as there are internet businesses, there will be people trying to steal your income. Affiliate theft and fraud are on the rise. More than ever merchants need to monitor the actions of their affiliates and arm themselves against fraud. Especially if you consider that the FTC is now making merchants responsible for the action of their affiliates. While good affiliates can make you money, naughty ones can cost you a lot.

The first action to take is to find out what type of frauds your affiliates may be capable of. Below are a few examples.

Typosquatting: Also know as URL hijacking. Typosquatters register several variations of a high traffic domain names and then sign up for that same merchants affiliate program to sell them what should have been their own traffic.

Spammers: Affiliates who send unsolicited e-mails featuring a net marketers product, this can essentially tarnish the product. Spammers also make it difficult for the legitimate e-mailers to separate themselves. In many cases complaints have gotten the merchant's domain on blacklists.

Fraudulent and Fake Transactions: This can be in the form of the fraudster creating scripts to generate phony clicks, leads, or transactions. Or they may sign up as affiliates and then make large purchases uusing a stolen credit card.

Malware: Some affiliates use adware that is inadvertently installed on a person's computer is designed to steal traffic from legitimate affiliates by replacing their links with new ones. Thus legitimate affiliates don't get paid and eventually move on.

Once you are aware of the types of frauds out there, you will want to screen all your affiliate. Yes, you may have hundreds or even thousands of people signing up for your affiliate program, but among these may be unserious hobbyists, spammers and sophisticated con artists. It is important to weed people out in order to be left with serious marketers. You can not afford to be lazy.

Below are some screening tips.

1. All affiliates must have an active website. A lack of one may mean theyre spammers

2. The affiliate site content must relate to your products and services. Having back links that do not relate to your site can harm your search engine ranking.

3. The site should be optimized with content.

4. Make sure your affiliates understand the policies surrounding the use of content from your site.

Most importantly you must communicate with your affiliates. A new product is not needed as an excuse to contact them; often a quick note to see how their doing, if they need anything, and to check up on them works fine.

The important thing is that you know what they are doing, how they are performing and what means they are using to make sales. You may feel as if you are annoying them but this is your business, the more control and organization you have the better you'll do.
About the Author
Jeff Casmer is an award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and internet marketing consultant with career sales over $25,000,000. His "Top Ranked" Work at Home Directory gives you all the information you need to Earn Money in the 21st century.
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