Affiliate fraud prevention is a critical component of any affiliate program. Fraudulent behavior can lead to significant revenue losses and bad publicity for a company. It can also cause a loss of good sales reps and recruitment costs.
Affiliate marketing is a tight-knit industry where word travels quickly. That’s why it’s a good idea to get familiar with the kinds of tactics that are commonly used by fraudulent affiliates.
Some of the most common fraud methods include:
Cookie Stuffing – Cookies are used to track visitor activities on websites, such as which pages a user visits and when they leave. This information can be used to identify patterns that indicate suspicious activity.
URL Redirect Fraud – This type of fraud occurs when an affiliate buys domains that are similar to merchant website names. They then redirect visitors to the real site, earning credit for any purchases they drive.
Cloning a legitimate affiliate’s website and content is another method used by scammers to steal traffic. This can result in a negative impact on a business’s reputation, as customers may be misled by the content and site’s appearance.
In addition, a fraudster can use bots to generate fraudulent leads that are used to spam people who haven’t given their consent for marketing communications. This type of behavior is a violation of the TCPA and can also lead to lawsuits.
IPQS affiliate fraud prevention helps protect companies from these types of attacks by detecting a wide range of fraudulent behavior including:
Lead Generation & Click Fraud – Score user & click data with an overall risk score to detect fake user information, click fraud, fraudulent submissions, high risk affiliate sources, and low quality data. Automated user validation and expert validation improve the value of data to ensure accurate and high quality submissions from new users.
Payment Screening – Analyze complete transaction details including billing and order details for comprehensive risk analysis. Additionally, IPQS affiliate fraud prevention can identify stolen credit cards and suspicious patterns of high risk behavior such as device emulation and other behaviors associated with fraudulent payments.
Proxies & Residential proxies are a common sign of affiliate fraud. Whether it’s from an individual or a bot, this traffic can be easily blocked and filtered to eliminate abusive affiliate traffic that could negatively impact your brand.
Malicious Software – This can be a problem when an affiliate uses software to install malicious scripts on a user’s machine, such as malware or spyware. These software can inject ad code on the user’s computer that can be used to earn commissions without the visitor knowing it.
Aside from stealing commissions, some affiliate fraud can hurt the company’s reputation and even cause lawsuits. For example, a company that uses fraudsters to send unwanted emails could face a TCPA violation, resulting in potential lawsuits and news headlines.