Preventing fraudulent activity on your affiliate program

Affiliate marketing has matured a great deal globally over the last 20 years and the majority of affiliates are legitimate business or individuals who follow the guidelines and terms provided by both the affiliate networks and the advertisers directly.

Unfortunately from time to time there will be some people who attempt to break the rules, therefore it’s important to be aware and to ensure you are doing everything you can to avoid anything untoward occurring on your program. We have put together some quick tips below on how to prevent fraudulent activity.

1.) Manually screen all of your affiliates: Commission Factory provides the functionality for all advertisers to review the affiliates who are applying to join their program. We will also do this for you if you have a managed account with us.

Best practice affiliate application review:

  • Does the traffic source resolve correctly?
  • Does the website content match up with your vertical?
  • Has the affiliate categorised their website correctly?
  • Do they have a decent level of traffic, social media following etc.
  • Are they promoting by a permitted marketing method according to your terms and conditions?

If the answer is no to any of the above, feel free to decline the application or contact the affiliate for more detail.

2.) Regularly check the active affiliates on your account,  in particular the affiliates that are generating conversions; look at:

  • Their listed traffic sources - check the site and review traffic levels, their engagement with their usebase (social media).
  • The traffic sources showing in the transaction report (the referring url)
  • Country of origin for their conversions
  • IP address
  • Larger than the usual average order values
  • Sudden spike in conversions

3.) If you are not sure about an affiliate you can also always message them via the message centre or direct email if they have made that available. Simply ask them how they are promoting you with some links so you can review.

4.) Ask your Commission Factory contact questions about affiliates too, do we know them directly, can we look at their account to see if they are active with other advertisers etc. We are always available to help with any queries you have and we have more visibility on their activity across the network.

5.) Ensure you are regularly validating the transactions in your account against your own database. This should be done at least once per month.

6.) Create a routine to regularly check the above for any new performing affiliate that you may not be familiar with. 

By working closely with Commission Factory and setting yourself up with a routine process for validation and screening, will ensure your affiliate program achieves the best results in line with your terms and conditions.