What is Affiliate Fraud
Ronald Ng avatar
Written by Ronald Ng
Updated over a week ago

The (anti-)affiliate fraud package offers a comprehensive solution to protect businesses from fraudulent activities in their affiliate programs.

By implementing advanced fraud detection algorithms and monitoring tools, this package helps businesses identify and prevent various types of affiliate fraud, including click injection, flooding, and fraudulent lead generation. Real-time monitoring and analytics enable businesses to proactively detect and mitigate fraudulent activities, safeguarding their affiliate campaigns and maintaining the integrity of their rewards program.

By creating a clean and trustworthy environment for affiliate marketing, the anti-affiliate fraud package helps businesses maximize their ROI, maintain positive relationships with affiliates, and make data-driven decisions about their marketing budget without overpaying for fraud.

Examples of Affiliate program reward structure

Pay per lead (CPL)

This is not as frequent as it used to be as it is easily exploited. The payout structure here is to pay e.g. $5 per lead sourced from an affiliate. For example if we want to increase user registration on our platform, we would pay an affiliate $5 everytime that came from their affiliate link would end up registering.

Revenue-share program

An example of a revenue-share type of reward can be giving 5% of the net revenue of a purchase as an incentive to the affiliate that sourced the customer.

This is often used by e-commerce advertisers running affiliate campaigns. The perceived idea in this case is that because we payout is a small percentage of the revenue that no fraud can happen. This is not true as it is still subject to click injection/flooding.

Fixed payout after certain conditions

Exness uses a more complicated version of the CPL (and revenue share), where the payout happens after an initial registration, KYC and first deposit have been made.

In certain countries, their reward used to be larger than the first deposit though, creating an easily exploitable process to abuse their program.

Note: in late 2023 this program was discontinued at Exness due to the large volume of fraud.

How does affiliate fraud happens?

Most of the affiliate fraud is targeted at abusing the affiliate payout program.

The most common abuse is to trick the attribution system, responsible to define which affiliate will receive a payout when there is a conversion.

Another cause can be due to organized groups abusing the program, either through incentives or through (often) not very sophisticated approaches like gather several devices, converting from each one of the devices and cleaning them so that the operation can be repeated.

See more here for affiliate specific fraud types.

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