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  1. #1
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Dealing with fraudulent affiliates
    Hi all, I wonder what are your views and practices on dealing with affiliates that practices credit card fraud.

    Do you report them? If yes - where?

    - to other networks?
    - payment processors (e.g. if they use paypal/epassporte/bank transfer)?
    - special forums or specialized sites?
    - police?
    - is there a list that again could be used as source for black-list?

    Your insights are much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Does this happen to you a lot? Your business model must be unusual.

  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSandy
    Hi all, I wonder what are your views and practices on dealing with affiliates that practices credit card
    Are you talking about crooked merchants that have affiliate programs here?


  4. #4
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    I meant it like this.

    You have a case. You kick affiliate out. But hey... whats next? As good it can go to other network and try it out there, etc.

  5. #5
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    We have not had this issue with an affiliate, but generally speaking if an affiliate refers a sale to one of my programs and that customer is using a fraudulent cc - how is it the affiliates fault?

    Now if there are repeated fraudulent CC sales from one affiliate then I would:
    1. Void all Commissions
    2. Report to Networks
    3. Report to proper authorities
    4. Post their information on ABW
    5. Post their information on AM & OPM groups
    6. Post their information on a couple of other affiliate forum sites, jsut to make sure everyone knew
    7. Remove them from ALL my programs
    8. Perhaps Blog about them as well
    9. And I can't leave twitter out

    Is this what you mean?

    I can say that I have never had this problem in 9 years of affiliate program management........

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    First reaction when seein this was:
    Tar and feather em.
    ok....I'm definitely kiddin....don't anybody take me seriously

    Not sure exactly what you're referring to, but
    "You have a case. You kick affiliate out. But hey... whats next? As good it can go to other network and try it out there, etc."

    Uhhh yeap, unfortunately that's what they can do and ummm unfortunately that other network may not care.

    Important thing to remember tho, is how you wanna conduct your affiliate managing. If you have an affiliate you know is doin wrong.....get rid of em. (umm not as in an affiliate hit man or anything, but remove em from your program) You can't control what the others do, but you can control what you do.

    So, yes, hopefully in a perfect affiliate world everybody would do the right thing...but that's evidetnly not gonna happen. But.....doesn't mean we can't all hope it will and those of you who can get rid of em now ....do it.

  7. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolet
    We have not had this issue with an affiliate, but generally speaking if an affiliate refers a sale to one of my programs and that customer is using a fraudulent cc - how is it the affiliates fault?

    Now if there are repeated fraudulent CC sales from one affiliate then I would:
    1. Void all Commissions
    2. Report to Networks
    3. Report to proper authorities
    4. Post their information on ABW
    5. Post their information on AM & OPM groups
    6. Post their information on a couple of other affiliate forum sites, jsut to make sure everyone knew
    7. Remove them from ALL my programs
    8. Perhaps Blog about them as well
    9. And I can't leave twitter out

    Is this what you mean?

    I can say that I have never had this problem in 9 years of affiliate program management........
    Wow, and you would do all of this without any PROOF that the affiliate was actually INVOLVED in anything fraudulent.

    So much for innocent until proven guilty.

    -rematt
    Last edited by rematt; May 29th, 2008 at 05:10 PM.
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  8. #8

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    I agree doing such actions will get the network in a lot of liability. Unless it's proven in court and they are found guilty you can't go around giving out their information (may not be able to even then) and making potentially libelous posts.

    Seems to me to cut your losses (as any business would) by reversing transactions and banning the affiliate from your network.

  9. #9
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    HOLD UP!!!!!!!!!

    Of course we would verify that it was in fact a particular affiliate and that they were doing something wrong before any of these steps were taken. - an affiliate should not be held accountable for a customer who is doign somethign illegal, again this has never happened in any of my programs, and I don't expect it to, I am jsut simply answering a question that if an affiliate was caught trying to cheat the system with fraudulent CC's what would we do...

    Also if they were proven to be using fraudulent cc to cheat the system, then I would post their user name and Aff ID so other OPM's and AM's could watch out as well - just as we do all ready for unethical affiliates. This would fall under the same category.
    Last edited by Rolet; May 29th, 2008 at 05:32 PM. Reason: added to it

  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    Seems to me to cut your losses (as any business would) by reversing transactions and banning the affiliate from your network.
    Still extreme without proof that the affiliate was actually involved in anything fraudulent. Just suppose for a moment that a merchant reverses three of your orders, do we automatically call the merchant a fraud without further questioning or investigation? What about when a test order doesn't track? Is the merchant then cheating their affiliates? No, we generally give them the benefit of the doubt until more information can be gathered and quite often it turns out to be an error of some type. We tend to be very careful about "outing" a merchant until we're sure that they are guilty of wrongdoing. Don't affiliates deserve the same courtesy?

    Why would we assume that an affiliate is dishonest without anything more than a merchant's or AM's speculations?

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11

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    Actually since it's their network they can do pretty much what they want. If they believe or suspect even an affiliate is doing something against TOS (definitive proof is rarely available) then they have every right to remove that person from their network or program.

    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Still extreme without proof that the affiliate was actually involved in anything fraudulent. Just suppose for a moment that a merchant reverses three of your orders, do we automatically call the merchant a fraud without further questioning or investigation? What about when a test order doesn't track? Is the merchant then cheating their affiliates? No, we generally give them the benefit of the doubt until more information can be gathered and quite often it turns out to be an error of some type. We tend to be very careful about "outing" a merchant until we're sure that they are guilty of wrongdoing. Don't affiliates deserve the same courtesy?

    Why would we assume that an affiliate is dishonest without anything more than a merchant's or AM's speculations?

    -rematt

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolet
    HOLD UP!!!!!!!!!

    Of course we would verify that it was in fact a particular affiliate and that they were doing something wrong before any of these steps were taken. - an affiliate should not be held accountable for a customer who is doign somethign illegal, again this has never happened in any of my programs, and I don't expect it to, I am jsut simply answering a question that if an affiliate was caught trying to cheat the system with fraudulent CC's what would we do...

    Also if they were proven to be using fraudulent cc to cheat the system, then I would post their user name and Aff ID so other OPM's and AM's could watch out as well - just as we do all ready for unethical affiliates. This would fall under the same category.
    Proven? We are pointing out that anything you do OUTSIDE of your own TOS could lead to a legal liability on the part of the network or program. There is still a privacy clause and regardless of the affiliates wrongdoing are you going to violate your own TOS?

    In addition until proven in a court of law and found guilty of fraud then you still leave yourself open to massive amounts of liability.

    The best thing is to work thing internally and make sure they don't sign up again.

  13. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nakedgamer
    Actually since it's their network they can do pretty much what they want. If they believe or suspect even an affiliate is doing something against TOS (definitive proof is rarely available) then they have every right to remove that person from their network or program.
    Unfortunately sometimes there's a wide gap between what they CAN do and what they SHOULD do.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  14. #14
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    You should report this fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center - http://www.ic3.gov

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgelb44
    You should report this fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center - http://www.ic3.gov
    bgelb44, no crime has been committed. This discussion is in regards to a possible violation of a merchants Terms of Service (TOS) which is a contract between a merchant and their affiliates not a violation of any laws.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    Member avanquest's Avatar
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    We have had this happen a few months ago. I had one new affiliate with over 30k in orders - instantly suspicious. All the orders were from five different customers placing multiple orders with multiple products - more than suspicious. I contacted our group that handles our shopping cart and cc orders and they verified the orders were fraudulent.

    The affiliate was from another country so I reversed all the commissions, booted him from our program and reported him to the network. I think I also outed him - well at least I meant to - I was pretty busy reversing commissions.
    Paula
    Affiliate Manager
    Avanquest Software
    720-251-4144
    [email=pcarlsen@avanquest.com]pcarlsen@avanquest.com[/email]

  17. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    bgelb44, no crime has been committed. This discussion is in regards to a possible violation of a merchants Terms of Service (TOS) which is a contract between a merchant and their affiliates not a violation of any laws.

    -rematt
    Oops sorry, I was in the wrong thread. If credit card fraud is suspected the best course of action would be to report it to the proper authorities for further investigation and prosecution if warranted.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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