Aug
27

Beware! Affiliate Program Fraud Tips

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Affiliate Fraud Tip: If you have your own associate program you may want to consider paying your affiliates using the online payment program http://www.PayPal.com.

It’s not suggested to use this service for collecting money for your main product line (unless it’s a secondary payment option or if you are selling on ebay it’s okay), but it does give you some protection if you have affiliates who may counterfeit your checks and try to wipe out your main checking account.

Some merchants who run affiliate programs keep a separate checking account with just enough money in it to pay affiliates so that if someone does counterfeit your checks, they can’t get away with too much money.

Counterfeiting checks is not common in the USA, but if you have affiliates in many countries foreign to yours, you must watch closely for potential fraud.

Affiliate Fraud Tip # 2: Scenario: You get an oddball order for a large amount of money. The email address is from a free service like Yahoo! The credit card is accepted. You see on your order form that an affiliate from a foreign country sent you the order. – Most likely it’s a fraudulent order.

Here’s what probably happened: Either two criminal buddies paired up, or one person did the entire scam and pretended to be both the affiliate and the customer. They steal a credit card, which at the time is good because the theft is still undetected.

One member of the criminal duo buys your stuff through the affiliate link of his bad boy partner. They hope you will send a legitimate affiliate check to the affiliate who will cash the check and/or counterfeit it like the fraud tip above.

Eventually the credit card will be reported as stolen and the credit card company will charge back the sale to the customer’s credit card. You’ll never be able to recover the money from the fake affiliate and your entire checking account could be compromised, plus you’re out the cost of the product.

Here’s the fix: Don’t ship the product. Don’t send the affiliate check and call the fraud division of the credit card company immediately. Also remove the bad affiliate from your database. At all costs try to avoid getting associate software from one company and a shopping cart from another company.

And heaven forbid you try to install associate program software yourself unless you are extremely technically savvy. If you have a shopping cart from your web host and an associate program from another vendor, each company may try to blame the other when things don’t work and you’ll be left holding the bag. It can then take a long time to get things going and it might never fully work right.

DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS MESS! If you use a fully integrated system (like the one at: http://www.KickStartCart.com) you won’t have any trouble. If you do have any issues arise, you have only one company to call and they can’t pass the buck to anyone else.

Just because it’s simple to sign up as an affiliate doesn’t mean it’s no work. You’ve got to do a good job getting traffic to your site and endorsing links, or you won’t make much money in commissions.

 

 

 

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Categories : e-commerce

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