AFFILIATE MARKETING SCAMS: How to Avoid Them in 2022!!! (+ Free Tips)

Photo Credit: Affilorama

In 2022, affiliate marketing is still growing stronger. However, despite affiliate marketing’s apparent potential to bring in more leads and make more sales, there are a lot of scams you should watch out for. Affiliate scammers have the potential to defraud you of a substantial amount of money if you don’t know what to look out for. To help you avoid falling into these costly traps, we’ll explain affiliate marketing online scams, their examples, how they work, and highlight the warning flags.

What are Affiliate Marketing Scams?

Affiliate scams are broadly defined as dishonest practices intended to siphon money from affiliate marketing programs.

An obvious illustration of this is when dishonest affiliates use fake credit cards to buy the offered product and profit from an illegitimate sale.

Affiliate scams are any actions taken by affiliates that are against the rules of your affiliate program.

Affiliate Marketing Scams Reviews

It is very common these days that many people have fallen into the hands of affiliate marketing scammers.

People believed them to be real until they lost their money, time, and other treasures before realizing that they have been scammed.

We hope you read on to learn about affiliate marketing scams in 2022 and how you can prevent them.

Examples of Affiliate Marketing Scams

Understanding your adversary is essential if you want to stop affiliate marketing fraud.

You should be on the lookout for the following examples of affiliate marketing scams in 2022:

This is one of the common examples of affiliate marketing scams, which involves placing malicious tracking code from several affiliate networks onto a visitor’s PC.

If the customer makes a purchase on another retail website, the scammer can keep the commission on the transaction.

#2. Click Spam

Click spam is known as when a fraudster employs malware to simulate a click on a PPC ad link when none actually occurred.

They record any purchases made on that website for the affiliate partner as referrals.

It is challenging for affiliate networks and advertisers to recognize and halt this affiliate marketing scam.

Without the users’ knowledge or approval, malicious actors direct traffic, making it appear as though the clicks are coming from someone using a mobile application.

#3. Fake Products

The term “fake product scam” refers to a type of fraud in which scammers fabricate advertisements or websites for goods or services that don’t really exist.

In order to gain the trust of potential customers, the fraudster frequently uses a well-known company’s name and branding to promote fake goods while posing as that business.

#4. Transaction Fraud

When a scammer makes a purchase using a stolen credit card or online account, such as PayPal, they are committing transaction fraud.

#5. Spoof Traffic (aka bot traffic)

In order to make it appear as though they are generating genuine referral traffic, scammers send fake clicks and impressions to a website.

This surge can include bot traffic and foreign garbage clicks.

#6. URL Hijacking

When someone purchases a URL that is like that of a legal company and leads traffic to the phony website, they are engaging in URL hijacking, which entitles them to income from affiliate partners.

The scammers install an affiliate link during the redirect procedure in order to profit from actual clients.

#7. Fake Leads

A common affiliate marketing scam involves sending fake leads to advertisers or retailers to inflate the statistics and cheat the business of a commission.

#8. Google Ad Hijacking

A fraud known as “Google ad hijacking” tempts users to click on fake affiliate links by placing false adverts above Google search results. By outbidding you for a branded term, the affiliate partner might use the paid ad space for your brand to steal your direct traffic.

Online Affiliate Marketing Scams

The following are the common online affiliate marketing scams:

#1. Misleading Affiliate Marketing Training Courses and eBooks

Most people that fall for deceptive affiliate marketing training packages are a novice and eager affiliate marketers.

There are free affiliate marketing courses available if workable, but most people, especially those just starting out, prefer a more comprehensive course with some guidance.

#2. Get-Rich-Quick Offers

This is the oldest and arguably most widespread fraud. Before the internet ever existed, get-rich-quick schemes were common, and they continue to do so because we all still fall for them.

Affiliate marketing is not the only scam, but it’s these get-rich-quick schemes that give it such a terrible rep. They guarantee you will make thousands of dollars overnight or that you may work just two hours every day and conclude the week with $5,000 in your bank account.

#3. No or Fake Product/Service to Sell

They present you with a good or service that you purchase combined with an investment in the business in this scheme. You must recruit more people for more commissions if you want to advance. You won’t likely see your money grow over time as promised because it merely gets passed around.

#4. Pay-To-Join Programs

Real affiliate programs are still free to join now as they were back then. A real affiliate scheme is risk-free. For some affiliate networks, a website is necessary. Perhaps they favor affiliates with experience.

However, no trustworthy affiliate network will charge you a price to sign up for their network. Avoid joining if there is a price involved. Most likely, it is a dubious multilevel marketing operation.

Beware of the above mentioned online affiliate marketing scams.

How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams

Below are the tips to help you avoid affiliate marketing scams.

#. Testimonials

Without a doubt, ask the business for references. Don’t believe the reviews they post on their website itself. You can contact these people to find out more about how the program performed for them by asking for their names and email addresses.

Please don’t let a few unfavorable reviews deter you. Some people are just not appropriate for some programs.

There are more positives than negatives, therefore everything will probably work out OK. These testimonies can also seek advice on what to do and what to avoid.

#2. Free Participation

No free participation is another warning indicator.

If joining requires payment, you may have come across an internet marketing fraud or a multi-level marketing scheme.

MLM systems are entirely legal, and some people profit well from them. If MLMs offer high-quality products and not only so-called “alibi” products, I have no issues with them.

A real affiliate program is cost-free. You won’t incur any expenses, and there shouldn’t be any risk involved.

Any affiliate marketing campaign that requests money from you might not be real.

#3. Company’s Track Record

Verify the track record of the business. This should serve as a caution if you can’t discover the right information.

Avoid new companies!

Good affiliate programs have a track record and have been around for some time. Avoid the urge to sign up while the deal is still appealing.

If the program is good, it will still be available in a few months.

#4. Support, Website, Physical Address

You should receive support at any point from an affiliate marketing program. They should also provide a person you can talk to if you have any queries or issues.

They should also provide you with marketing tips for their goods. In a real business, your success is always the priority. Your performance will improve theirs. An email address, a fixed street location, and a toll-free phone number should be included at the absolute least.

You should think about other options if the business has no website.

Genuine affiliate marketing programs typically feature a thorough website with all the necessary details.

Companies that primarily use email for communication should raise red flags.

#5. Search Results

Any affiliate program’s validity can be quickly found online.

There will always be reviews and complaints from furious victims of a well-known scam. Even if there aren’t many complaints, still steer clear if there are five or thereabout.

Even Google can be used to check the legitimacy of a specific affiliate scheme.

#6. Commission Percentage

An affiliate network that provides unrealistic commissions could be a scam, just like get-rich-quick schemes.

True, there are reputable affiliate schemes with enormous benefits. The payments are substantial, but there are prerequisites that must be satisfied.

Before partnering with an affiliate network that offers commissions with no restrictions, take a moment to reflect.

A wise business will prioritize its profit over all else. Why would they spend more money on anybody than they would make from a sale? If you think about it, it doesn’t make any sense.

Take note of the above schemes to avoid falling into affiliate marketing scams.

Is Affiliate Marketing Illegal?

Although there is a widespread misconception that affiliate marketing is primarily a scam, affiliate programs can actually be as valuable as the marketer who runs them makes them out to be.

It is a legit industry. But given that anyone may post anything online these days, this type of marketing frequently involves scammers.

Is There Real Money in Affiliate Marketing?

You don’t have to pay anything to join affiliate networks, so you can earn money right away with a reputable affiliate product or service.

Through commissions, affiliate marketing can also produce a comparatively passive income, which is the perfect financial situation.

Is Being an Affiliate Marketer Legit?

Despite having a dubious image among those who are not well-versed in the subject, affiliate marketing is a completely legal way to make money.

In the end, most people on the planet have access to the internet, and online sales across all industries are steadily rising.


Starting your own business through affiliate marketing is fantastic. You may be well on your way to making a lot of money doing something you love with a lot of effort and imagination. It might be difficult to choose an affiliate marketing program because there are so many affiliate marketing scams out there.

This article’s examples should assist you in identifying online affiliate marketing scams and help you avoid falling for any of them.

Affiliate Marketing Scams FAQs

Is affiliate marketing a pyramid scheme?

Affiliate marketing is not a pyramid scheme. If all you do is get people onto a platform so they can get more people onto it, then, it is a pyramid scheme.

What is better than affiliate marketing?

Dropshipping is a much more profitable choice, even though affiliate marketing is fantastic for beginners who don’t want to interact with customer service. You could make more money operating an online dropshipping store than an affiliate website.

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