There are many great affiliate marketing opportunities out there and very few people who would deliberately do anything shady to mislead or scam you. However, you need to be vigilant to protect yourself. Here’s how you can avoid fraud when you work with affiliates:
When you are working with affiliates, read the fine print on everything. Often, affiliate programs have restrictions on where you need to make sales or what products you can promote. Go through them carefully before you sign up for any affiliate program. You will be surprised to find many restrictions and standards placed on how to affiliate marketing. For example, you can never promote a product that you have not purchased first.
You might be in the middle of a great conversation with an affiliate, but if you make a mistake in your contact information, there’s a good chance they’ll contact you through an email that looks like it came from their business instead of yours. They should know the correct email address to use to get in touch with you.
Some affiliates have very creative names. It’s hard to verify if the person you are talking with is actually who they claim to be. If you get an email from Jane Doe, but they claim their name is Joe Smith, you should suspect. If the person claims they are with a company called Awesome Widgets LLC, it might not be an official name and could be a made-up address.
If someone says they can help you from ‘the boss,’ ask them to put you through to someone who can. Don’t be afraid to ask for this person’s name and contact information too. If you aren’t sure about the person you are talking to, ask them for more information. If they are hiding their identity, you may want to walk away from the deal just so that you aren’t caught in a scam.
Some affiliates offer some info for free to get your email address. Once they have that information, they’ll try to sell you something else. If an affiliate offers you a free report, ask them for a link to the source. They might have included the download in an email blast, or they may have placed it on their website. Don’t get lured into scanning through and downloading helpful content accidentally.
The Internet tells stories of people who gave someone their credit card number and never received a refund. Don’t be one of them! Always ask before you give an affiliate your credit card information. If you are buying a product through the affiliate, you should already have the information on hand, but don’t share credit card details unless necessary.
Make sure that the IP address on an email corresponds to the company’s location. If someone is calling from a different state, it will make sense that they are working for an affiliate in another state or country. If they are trying to tell you that the affiliate is located in Texas, but they are using a Russian IP address, it will raise a red flag.
If you’re working with an affiliate, make sure that they recommend a product that is worth your time and money. There are many scams out there masquerading as legitimate products; don’t go for the ‘Wow! That looks like it must be genuine!’ trap! A good affiliate makes sure that the products they recommend to you are worth your time. If they are pushing a product that isn’t worth it or is just a scam, walk away.
Most affiliate programs have a rating system for affiliates. The higher your rating, the better chance you have of making money. However, this does not mean that all affiliate programs are reputable and honest. You need to read reviews before signing up with any company. If you aren’t familiar with the company or the product that you will be promoting, you may want to pass.
While affiliate marketing offers some amazing opportunities, it can also be a minefield. You need to be careful when you are getting started to don’t get caught up in fraud. Make sure that you read all of the fine print and use caution at every stage.