Prevent affiliate fraud can be costly to merchants, who might have to pay for fraudulent clicks or sales. It can also damage a brand image and reduce trust among customers, so it’s important to prevent affiliate fraud whenever possible.
To combat fraud, it’s important to have a clear affiliate agreement and use a powerful platform that provides analytics on your affiliate program. Typically, the first time an affiliate exhibits suspicious behavior, they should receive a warning, and if they commit another offense, they should be removed from your program immediately. Additionally, it’s important to monitor affiliate transactions and to have clear terms and conditions that prohibit most of the common fraud methods, such as brand bidding (using a competitor’s trademarked name in search engine ads), cookie stuffing (dropping trackable affiliate cookies into people’s browsers without their knowledge to earn commissions on products they didn’t help sell), app installs, spoofed traffic, and auto-filling forms with software.
Shielding Your Affiliate Program: Strategies to Prevent Affiliate Fraud
Additionally, it’s important to only pay affiliate commissions on completed sales and not for views, clicks, or leads. This will make it much more difficult for fraudsters to game the system and earn illegitimate commissions. To further protect against fraud, only work with affiliates who have a real email address that matches their website and have valid social media accounts to verify their location. It’s also important to check out an affiliate’s website and look for shady URLs that may indicate their intention to scam.