Affiliate marketing compliance.
It’s always the right time to do the right thing, and in the case of compliance, doing the right thing means that you’re benefitting yourself in the process as well. Compliance is often misunderstood as something meddlesome to the bottom line of lead generation, when in fact, it is actually essential for any industry. Compliance protects all sides: the consumer, the Affiliate, and the vendors or merchants.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective techniques to generate income from the internet. Merchants are happy to see affiliates because they provide an additional income stream – affiliates are happy because they get commission checks every month.
In the same way, affiliate marketing is improved by cultivating partnerships between vendors and also affiliates- as well as offering something of value to the consumer such as coupons, special offers, money back, or item recommendations. The vendors pay for marketers to reach consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ensures that all these activities are lined up with federal requirements.
Due to increasing numbers of affiliates, there are growing numbers of affiliate abusers who take advantage of the program and a few scammers can quickly and vastly reduce their profitability. The technical sophistication of abusive affiliates often far outweighs the merchant’s knowledge, allowing marketing fraud to run rampant.
This report aims to provide information about fraudulent affiliate tactics so that merchants can better understand how affiliate abuse operates, the impact of it on the vendor side, and methods for detection and prevention. We hope that this short article can serve as a step towards an overall reduction in affiliate abuse by granting merchants a deeper understanding of the ways that unethical affiliates manipulate the system.
As I said before affiliate fraud is a major problem that plagues online merchants. It does not take long for online companies to discover that they have lost significant revenue, as they are bombarded with scam reports from their customers. Affiliate scam reporting is a sore subject for the merchants as many of the complaints are legitimate, and they are forced to defend themselves when accused of fraud. It becomes a difficult task to respond to reports that are mostly overinflated or simply false accusations.
The technical sophistication of the marketing scam is often so vast that it defies comprehension. It’s often difficult for an online merchant to establish the veracity of a scam report because the scammers often cloak their malicious tools in the innocent garb of a free download. This leaves a void in the report that makes it extremely difficult for the merchant to establish the truth of the report before taking any action.
There’s no easy solution to this problem, it appears that each report has to be evaluated on its own merits. In the event that a merchant becomes aware of a particularly egregious form of marketing fraud, they should immediately report these activities to the appropriate authorities.
One effective way of protecting oneself against this form of fraud is by using a virus scanner, the best form of protection at this time appears to be a firewall, but that is no guarantee of protection. A few vendors have even developed a scanner that appears to be able to detect a specific form of affiliate traffic.
When we are faced with such threats, we might be inclined to dismiss them and to let fate take its course. But we have to realize that these incidents happen and that it is part of the process that we must accept. Affiliate fraud can be reduced and the overall quality of online commerce will improve over time.
It seems likely that the development and deployment of effective controls against this form of fraud will be a lengthy process. It will not be enough to just use a good virus scanner, you have to use it effectively.
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