There are many ways fraud is committed within the affiliate community. Advertisers, affiliates, and networks have all been found guilty. We’ve spent plenty of time dealing with fraud and come across two types a fraud quite often.

Spoofing: Also known as link masking or cloaking, the affiliate generates leads while hiding their original source. Affiliates could be duplicating information or spamming email lists, etc.

Cookie stuffing: Tricking a company’s tracking system into giving you credit for a sale you had nothing to do with. Basically, hijacking commissions that belong to other affiliates.

If you’re doing any type of business in affiliate marketing, it’s good to pay attention to affiliate marketing forums and network blogs like this one. They will keep you in the know and out of harms way. It’s also important to have a good relationship with your affiliate network. Don’t just fall for the first network that comes along, find one that you can connect with. Do some research and make sure it’s a network that has the tools necessary for you to reach your goals. Here at Diablo Media, we’ve seen our fair share of relationship ups and downs and find that when our partners are friendly and open to talk about their practice, good things happen.

Also, be thorough with your privacy policy and terms of agreement, so if anything were to happen, you’ve got your own back. Have contact information and remember that in 2013, good design goes a long way. This is more along the lines of running a professional business, but if being professional scares away fraudsters, you’ve got yourself a win win.

You can probably tell by now, but all of this fraud talk is hinting at ethical affiliate marketing. We think it’s extremely important given the nature of our industry and pride ourselves on running an honest network. We knew our business would take a hit when we integrated CPA Detective. Thankfully, we bounced back and are doing better than before. After six years of growth, we’ve found that a little empathy can oftentimes show you right from wrong.

Be sure to check out the first part of this series too – Fraud Part 1 of 2: Getting Educated

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