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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    February 5th, 2006
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    Smile Fraudelent Sales from affiliate program
    I am a member of a this affiliate program and am a merchant. I have been selling quite a bit on it about 20k a month and have only been on the program for 2 months. Our sales have not increased at all though. The only difference now is that we are paying 10% out to our affiliates for that portion of our sales. Today someone placed an order by the phone. We actually placed the order for the customer on our website. As soon as the order was completed, I got notification that an affilicate had gotten credit for our $3000.00 sale via email. I was puzzled because if a customer calls in and found our site on their own and we rang the order up manually ourselves how could a affiliate get credit for it. One might argue wel at least we are making sales. True but when you look at how they found us they are typing our name , well We come up for our name anyway everywhere, even our name spelled wrong as well as many other keywords. So it does not help me when I type in the address browser our website or get to it from favorites and it gives credit to this particular affiliate.


    I then researched the link it said the sale came through and realized that on our computers there is spyware installed so it keeps giving credit to this particular affiliate. I do not know what to do should I void all of their transaction? I don't know how this could happen. If I Can ring up an order on my own computer and see that it is Fraud it makes me wonder how many more of our customers found it on their own as well and this affiliate is making money off their spyware. Any suggestions. If I void all of their transaction it makes me look unappealing to new potential affiliates. I even figured out what spyware it is and read about it in google.

  2. #2
    Newbie TheHoff's Avatar
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    March 5th, 2006
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    I don't mean to laugh at your situation, but I think that post will bring a smile to some faces around here. Valid affiliates have their commissions stolen by this sort of spyware every day, but unlike you on the merchant side of it, we have no evidence that it ever happened. In my opinion, boot the parasite and work with some of the knowledgable people around here to root out any other parasites in your program. Do you have language in your affiliate agreement preventing software like this?

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Are you only on SAS? Tell Brian about the affiliate. There aren't supposed to be any parasitic affiliates allowed in SAS, sometimes they slip thru.

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    February 5th, 2006
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    Thank You, I will tell Brian, But I am new at this so I will call supprt tommorrow and see what I should Do. It is easily removeable, but keeps reinstalling. Should I cancel that sale since we made the sale through our website going directly to our URL? I just hate to pay $300.00 commission when it is not earned. They have made other sales on the customer end but I cannot definiately say wether or not these customers have the same spyware. It is a high probabllity since I just noticed I have the same spyware on my home computer as well. I got the spyware when I downloaded smileys from a website. Thanks Guys,
    Kelley

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Yeah just talk to Brian tomorrow, I'm sure it'll get worked out.

    "I got the spyware when I downloaded smileys from a website."

    Those smileys will get you. Hope you get rid of whatever you picked up.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Go to my Spyware news page www.ecomcity.com/news.htm and safely get some legit Adware/Spyware detect removal tools. Add AVG anti-virus to your system too as the BHO commission thieves bundle viruses for re-installs. If you have XP then Google for "Onecare Beta" from Microsoft and install it. Any merchant by now should know any BHO takes credit for all sales from their infected members systems without any click necesary.

    Since it is one of your SAS ID# affiliates who infested your system, and thousands of others, give the scumbag the boot without paying him a dime. Get Brians help to track him down and identify his BHO identity.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  7. #7
    15 years and counting
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    That's a pretty serious matter.
    "I even figured out what spyware it is and read about it in google."
    Do you mind to tell us who they are to help you investigate the problem?
    'I just hate to pay $300.00 commission when it is not earned."
    To cancel the commission you need to be sure of what's happening, let us help you.

  8. #8
    Newbie DrPink's Avatar
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    March 30th, 2006
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    Lightbulb
    Contact Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General for the state of New York, 1-866-NYS-Fight. He is suing the scum that are behind the type of spy ware that infested your computer. Tell him your story, I am sure that he will be very interested.

    Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General State of New York

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    Thanks for all of your help. I was not sure if I was allowed to post websites being new to this board. The website that keepis reinstalling is
    www.searchtheweb.com
    They also install a tool bar called search the web next to your regular address bar. When I look up my account details it says that sales are converting from that website. Thats how I figured it out. It is not considered a virus or anything but it is a form of spyware or something.

  10. #10
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    Man that just blows my lid!!! The companies installing the spyware can now be held accountable for this. If you have the time/resources please please pursue this.

    As a merchant you can now see how this affects your business financially and robs honest affiliates of their fairly earned commisions.

    Visit the parasite board here at ABW. The honest affiliate community needs honest merchants like you!
    Suz~~GearGirl~~

  11. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I second the vote to tell Spitzer... Right after you tell Brian
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  12. #12
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    I am sure what is happening. For example, if I even place a test order from my home computer it will give the affiliate a commission. I know for sure that that should not be happening. All it is is stuff that is being installed on our computers and I am sure others so I feel that I should at least reverse the commissions that were generated from our computers with no affiliate being involved other then the spyware.

  13. #13
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    I made a mistake the seach bar it creates is called search the web and the url it belongs to is www.mywebsearch.com

  14. #14
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    February 5th, 2006
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    www.mywebsearch.com
    Thank You,
    Kelley

  15. #15
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Here's the skinny on some infestation routines blasting home systems using any and all free music/video downloads.. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1828633,00.asp

    Now Eliot Spitzer, and I'm sure Brian of SAS, would like to track down how a cookie stuffing BHO got their SAS ID# onto your system bilking you on test purchases. Here's some reading on the criminal activities of networks. AM's and the S/W affiliates ... http://www.vitalsecurity.org/2006/04...onna-hurt.html
    The must read fro every affiliate manager and network exec is http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/nyag-dr/ as it might mean you job and liberty. You can bet the merchants monitizing this crapware will get sucker punched in the pocket book for their greed, consumer abuse and unethical behavior.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Kelly you REALLY need to hang out with us here at ABW. You can make a ton with AM but not if you aren't savvy and aware of what is going on in the industry.

    You will certainly hear it here first and be able to protect yourself from those who will steal from you any way they can.

    Andy offers a course for affiliate managers that you should take to get up to speed as fast as you can. I assure you that you will NOT be easy prey if you listen to Andy. He knows what is of what am about running an affiliate program!

    Best of luck!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  17. #17
    Newbie
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    February 5th, 2006
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    I do want to get into the affiliate thing deeper.So far I just signed w/ ShareaSale and have not really done anything since. I am selling 20K a month through SS which I think is pretty good since I only signed up in Feb. 2006. I was told be a couple people what it takes an investment of time of abou t 40 hours a week to run a successful program. Since I am new at this I don't really know what I am supposed to be doing. I do have the time to invest. My role in Kelleyfurniture is website management, optimization, etc... I just really don't know where to start with affiliate marketing and I appreicate all of the input and that all of you are so into this. I also would love to take the course, but I am so green at this I don't even know who Andy is..
    Kelley

  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Yikes! Doesn't know who Andy is!!

    Now, that is down right wierd. I thought EVERYONE knew Andy.
    http://www.andyrodriguez.com/
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the link
    Kelley

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager
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    I'm not saying this necessarily isn't spyware, but... You may just have a tracking cookie from an affiliate on whatever machine entered that order.

    I go and verify some affiliate links sometimes, which writes a cookie to my machine. We had a problem one day where we were testing out our cart - I ended up accidentally putting something like $5,000 of orders through (all test orders, of course), and then getting emails from SAS telling me they had placed a bunch of orders.

    Well, we haven't made that mistake since. But... This could possibly be nothing more than a legitimate tracking cookie residing on your machine.

    Good luck,

    Dave

  21. #21
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    February 5th, 2006
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    Hi Dave, could it be a ligitimate tracking cookie even if it says the link that have the sale credit to this particular affiliate is from the installed search bar? That I never installed knowingly. In the sale detail from SAS it shows me the link from which the sale was made. I know for a fact the girl who took the order simply typed in the url to our website in the address bar and it says on SAS the converstion took place through mywebsearch.com which is a form of spyware. Could That still be a legitimate sale where I would owe the affiliate a commistion? Also I have auto add affilliates I have never touched this affiliates websites on any of our computers.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave@HomeofDecor.com
    I'm not saying this necessarily isn't spyware, but... You may just have a tracking cookie from an affiliate on whatever machine entered that order.

    I go and verify some affiliate links sometimes, which writes a cookie to my machine. We had a problem one day where we were testing out our cart - I ended up accidentally putting something like $5,000 of orders through (all test orders, of course), and then getting emails from SAS telling me they had placed a bunch of orders.

    Well, we haven't made that mistake since. But... This could possibly be nothing more than a legitimate tracking cookie residing on your machine.

    Good luck,

    Dave
    That was my first thought, too and it happens a lot. The computer that was used to place the order could have visited and clicked through from one of your affiliate's sites.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager
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    June 14th, 2005
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    Yeah, that definitely sounds like a parasite.

    I would give the SAS folks a call, I think Carolyn and Michael may be the only ones left in the office today. So, is the name of the affiliate mywebsearch.com? I'm gonna go check our program right now, thanks for the heads up.

    Dave

  24. #24
    Newbie
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    I am calling SAS at 11am PST. I will post after I speak with someone to let everyone know what they say.

  25. #25
    15 years and counting
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    First, MyWebSearch should not be an affiliate at ShareASale!
    If they are, there's something wrong.
    "MyWebSearch is a toolbar that quite a few third party software developers bundle with their "free" software. It is a search and error page hijacker that can be fairly tricky to remove. Smileycentral.com is probably the largest website pushing this toolbar. "
    It's hard to have an opinion without the full data. There's so many possibilities, but you are asking the right questions.

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