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  1. #1
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    Question Fraudulent Affiliate Signups?
    I believe I am experiencing an over-abundance of Affiliate Fraud. On average 20 Affiliates sign up per day but after a few checks, none of them are valid. Is this the norm?

    To add to that, even though we have a few affiliates, the majority of them have signed up but are not running any offers. Again is this the norm.

    I admire and respect all of you, and would like to know if everyone else is going through the same dilemma.

    As a side note: How many affiliates are using Skype? As it stands now, if I receive an application with the english accent woman saying "The person you're trying to reach is unavailable" I immediately deny that application. Let me know if this what everyone else is doing.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    With some networks, that's normal (if not low).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    On average, out of 100 applicants, I can approve 2 or 3.
    The applications have really gotten out of control and there doesn't seem to be any serious filtering.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    It depends on how many total you're getting. If you're getting 21 a day total and 20 are bogus there could be a problem. Depending on the day, about 60-80% of our apps get approved. It also depends on which program (we manage a few) as some requirements are more strick for some programs.

    As for the inactives, that is one of our constant challenges
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  5. #5
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    Loxly's Post
    Thanks Michael,

    Well that makes me feel a little better. Another issue: One of the fellow Affiliates (don't remember his name but he had the character Bender from 'Futurama' as his avatar) mentioned something about Loxly's Post as the Magic Bullet. Where is that post located?

    Don't want to go into detail but when I entered into this business, my perception of a person's character was definitely challenged.

  6. #6
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    Question Skype Fraud and My advertiser
    Thanks Greg and Guiness68

    Now what about the Skype Lady? Are their any affiliates using Skype to conduct business or is it a safe bet to assume that if you hear her voice as stated below:

    ...if I receive an application with the English accent woman saying "The person you're trying to reach is unavailable" I immediately deny that application. Let me know if this what everyone else is doing.

    I'm assuming they too are practicing fraud.

    Has anyone had a positive experience with affiliates from India, China, Malaisia, etc.?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    What vertical?
    If you deal with EDU, there is a problem FOR SURE

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    'Has anyone had a positive experience with affiliates from India, China, Malaisia, etc.?'

    I have nothing against any other country, but if you are based in the USA, and your target audience is the USA, then your affiliates should almost exclusively be from the USA. With some very select affiliates from certain countries (UK, Australia etc)

    It doesn't mean all US affiliates are good though, and it doesn't mean that the other countries are all bad.

  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    YOU ARE SPOT ON! Yes, I am dealing with edu offers. I'm not sure how to best remedy the situation with the affiliate fraud or the Skype phone. I think the SKYPERS (my pet name for them) should not be allowed to have access to our affiliate sign up pages--if that can be done.

    BTW: Is the RSS feed of any value in this business? I have yet to find a use for this service/product on my Firefox browser.

    This is one of those moments that I would like to be riding on a Harley instead of sitting at my desk!

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    You know you're posting in the "Introduce Yourself" forum? Merchant issues usually are posted elsewhere, like in the Becoming a Merchant forum. You'd probably get more and better responses there.
    I'll ask if one of the mods could transplant this.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Lead offers? That explains a lot then. They tend to bring the scammers out of the woodwork.

    As for some international affiliates, it depends on the type of offer (lead, sale, etc.). We had a lead program that covered the US only so most of the non-US affiliate apps were declined but we did accept some. Unfortunately, the biggest fraudster was from India and we had to do a batch reversal on him.

    Another program we manage is international and we have affiliates from all over with some very good ones in India. There are a handful from China but they haven't done much and are pretty strict with Chinese apps. There are a good number of non-US affiliates, though, whose sites are hosted here and who target US visitors so I wouldn't discount them just because they aren't in the US. Just be more careful when reviewing them.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Moved to a more appropriate forum...



    X

  13. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Try posting your claim to this forum and see if you get similar responses: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=470

    You will need to identify the company otherwise you are wasting our time.

  14. #14
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Mail headers are a great clue. The classic one is the "I'm from Singapore" approach.. but the mail headers say that they are from Indonesia.

    As a guide you could use something like the Corruption Perceptions Index. Countries at the top of the table tend to have much lower fraud rates than those at the bottom of the table. Note in this example that Singapore is ranked #4 (i.e. almost the least corrupt) and neighbouring Indonesia is #143 (out of 180) which makes it one of the more corrupt. It doesn't mean that EVERYONE from Indonesia is corrupt.. but people who really do live in Singapore have much more to lose if they rip you off.

    Another good resource for verifying people is FoneFinder which is a simple way of confirming that the telephone number given actually belongs in the country that they specified. One warning though - the UK has a pretty unique number range of +44 70xx xxxxxx which is often used by fraudsters as it can forward anywhere in the world.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
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    just came across a good article on digital moses about detecting fraudulent affiliates . i thought the suggestion to look at passwords to detect automated signups was particularly noteworthy.

  16. #16
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    We have been struggling with the same thing. I think every meeting I am in has this brought up. Something we did that seems to have helped some is don't let your affiliates make their own passwords. That way, they at least have to use a good email address. True, it will not get rid of all of them, but it might weed out some.

    Good luck, this seems to be the dark side of the business.

  17. #17
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by TarsusIan
    As a side note: How many affiliates are using Skype? As it stands now, if I receive an application with the english accent woman saying "The person you're trying to reach is unavailable" I immediately deny that application. Let me know if this what everyone else is doing.
    I really appreciate all of the feedback about Affiliate Fraud. It seems as though it's the 21st Century Weed in the Affiliate Marking/Online Advertising Garden. But what I find more striking is that no one addressed my second issue about the Skype numbers. Is anyone legitimately using Skype?
    [B][FONT=Verdana]Ian McKenzie | Affiliate Manager[/FONT]
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  18. #18
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    I have a couple of affiliates I trust using skype, but the large majority of skype users I get do turn out to be fraud.

  19. #19
    CPA Network Rep TarsusIan's Avatar
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    Someone mentioned a certain website that was good for determining if the Telephone number being used is really in the U.S. Does anyone else know about that website? It's a little more detailed that a mere phone number lookup site/page.
    [B][FONT=Verdana]Ian McKenzie | Affiliate Manager[/FONT]
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  20. #20
    http and a telephoto
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    I use Skype for business and had it as my business phone number for several years when I didn't have a land line or a cell phone. I chose to use Skype instead. I had NYC and San Francisco numbers through them. It made it more convenient for people that needed to call me on a local to them number back in the days before long distance was included in most calling plans. The person calling or that I was calling didn't know it was Skype.

    People can also use Google's Grand Central now and many other VOIP services that are inexpensive to set up. It doesn't mean they are automatically fraudulent or shady.

    In the lead network industry there is a lot of fraud because of the nature of what you are paying on. Policing it is a full time job.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  21. #21
    Member jimbanks's Avatar
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    We've set up a Skype number so that anyone calling from the US (we are a UK based network), doesn't have to pay long distance charges if they want to talk to us.

    Also, we have set up a Skype Out feature which means for a few dollars a month we can call unlimited to the US and Canada (both landlines and cell phones) at no cost. Again, that helps us to stay in touch with people without worrying about running up a big phone bill. The quality of the calls is so much better now that broadband is the norm.

    As for the original question about fraudulent signups there are a lot of tell tale signs, some are obvious (e.g. IP in China), but in a lot of cases using proxy servers can fool you on that.

    We have a checklist that we go through to validate all sign ups. There are around 12 different points on it, but the last one involves speaking to the person. The majority of applications get rejected before that one, but ultimately the purpose of the call in addition to vetting is to welcome them and see what you can do to help them and find our more about what they do and how they do it. Most affiliates are happy to tell you that.

    But it is a problem, we're slowly building up a list of US addresses that operate "spam workshops" where they collect checks etc.

  22. #22
    http and a telephoto
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    There are a lot of affiliates that are totally legit that object to the "phone call to verify" step.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  23. #23
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    'Has anyone had a positive experience with affiliates from India, China, Malaisia, etc.?'

    I have nothing against any other country, but if you are based in the USA, and your target audience is the USA, then your affiliates should almost exclusively be from the USA. With some very select affiliates from certain countries (UK, Australia etc)

    It doesn't mean all US affiliates are good though, and it doesn't mean that the other countries are all bad.
    Where an affiliate is located is not as important as what type of traffic is driven to their site. Buzzy is located in the U.S. and a large portion of our customers are in North America, Great Britain and Australia but we have French, German and Japanese affiliates who know how and to whom to promote our product line.
    <a href="http://www.buzzymultimedia.com/afpr.html"><font color="#FF0000">Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Affiliate Program</font></a>--<a href="http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=13023"><font color="#FF0000">SAS Sign-Up</font></a>
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  24. #24
    Full Member 1stAngel's Avatar
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    Just a quick note ... I sign up with a merchant but do not necessarily promote them immediately, depends on the promotions they are running at the time, or how many others I have going... I have promoted every one of the merchants I have signed up for at least once, and then go around again.... Just because you are not promoted immediately doesnt mean they wont promote you soon Due to thenature of one of my sites, I need to be signed to quite a few merchants to get the promotions when they come through...

  25. #25
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    I have found a huge amount of fraudulent affiliate applications ever since I started using this forum and advertising on other sites. This is just a nightmare that everyone will have to deal with forever. I usually call the number to welcome the affiliate and verify their sign up credentials. If the phone number they supplied is not valid or isn't theirs, I immediately reject them. There is no problem with that at all. I came across this site when I chose my affiliate network platform, certifiedaffiliates dot com. Sounds like a really cool idea to combat fraud. However, it will only work if everyone hops on the stick and reports fraudsters.

    I would definitely like to hear what other network owners or managers do to combat this growing trend.
    Last edited by Greg Rice; January 10th, 2009 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Removed hotlink

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