Affiliate Fraud- Is It Worth It?

by kirksmith888 - Date: 2009-11-06 - Word Count: 746 Share This!

If you're into affiliate marketing it is important to know what affiliate fraud is.

Affiliate fraud happens when the advertisers are getting false responses to their site. Since number of clicks or responses from the merchant's site is equivalent to the number of payment to the affiliate site, the latter frauds the result just to generate more income. This is what do we call affiliate fraud or click fraud.

Affiliate Marketing
How does affiliate marketing work? First, the affiliate and the merchant will have a business agreement on how to have the site. Second, the affiliate will have a plan on how to direct traffic to the merchant through advertising and links to their site. Third, when the merchant gets a hit through the affiliate's site, the affiliate receives payment. Fourth, the more hits the merchant gets, the more money they receive.

There are sites that getting a visitor is not enough. The visitor needs to sign up or spend sufficient time on the site or purchase something from it before the affiliate gets paid. Of course there are also affiliate sites like that practice good business ethics and can create income for life, so I suggest you check them out.

Why Affiliate Marketing Fraud Happens
Some are impatient to generate large revenue because the site is not driving sufficient traffic to the merchant. This is when marketing fraud happens. Since multiple click is equal to multiple charges to the merchant, the affiliate tries to send fake clicks via their affiliate link. The merchant does not get real traffic driven to their site, but they are to pay the affiliate large amount of money.

How Affiliate Fraud Happens
There are several ways defrauders carry out this crime. They can make use of the program that mimics fresh web browsers, so everytime they click on the merchant's site it appears to be a fresh user. They could hire people to click the link. Alternatively, this can also occur through industrial sabotage. Competitors of the merchant may set up multiple clicks to force the merchant to pay for irrelevant clicks costing him money. A competing affiliate marketer may set up repeated clicks of an affiliate site to get the site accused of fraud.

Sites that pay upon a visitor signing up can also be a victim on the other hand. Someone could sign up a bogus account without the intention of using the site or use the site as long as he is paid and then sign up again with another bogus identity. He may use stolen credit card in his purchases from the merchant's site. When the fraud is discovered, the affiliate site still receives pay.

Parasite fraud is also one type of affiliate fraud. This is a program that sneaks into your computer and replaces the affiliate merchant's link into a parasite link. This parasite creates traffic for free, when this happens, the affiliate is not paid and at the same time, the advertiser doesn't get any traffic. Fortunately, there are a lot of websites nowadays that can provide up to date information on how parasites work and how you can avoid them.

Consequences of Affiliate Fraud
In U.S and in other countries, affiliate fraud is punishable by time in jail. Major search engines such as Yahoo and Google have successfully sued affiliate defrauders. There was a time also that Google was on the defendant's side because of a major fraud lawsuit but soon it was settled for 90 million dollars in 2006. Yes, this crime is very easy to commit and difficult to catch. However, it will soon be discovered in different methods. Internet advertisers don't stop working on developing new ways to uncover the crime which cause them damage. So beware, if caught, the defrauder will end up bankrupt or in jail or maybe both.

Don't Do It!
Don't click on your ads or don't ask or pay someone to click on it. If you are receiving unusual clicks than you are expecting, you have to investigate. Be aware!

The best way to make money in this kind of business is the honest way. Make sure that your work is worth paying for. Create a great website that will appeal to people; great design, perfect keywords for the site and accurate link-building tools.

If you follow the above suggestions you can generate thousands of relevant clicks which will give you plenty of money without doing anything illegal. At the end, you can have more money and a worry free life because you did not do anything against the law.

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