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  1. #1
    Fraudulent leads already...
    Good thing for fraud detection.

    This $5.00 per lead and $20.00 per sale affiliate program for obviously should attract cheaters. But so quickly?

    Already some have tried to submit leads from IP addresses in Egypt and China. But the offer clearly states only leads from US and Canada get accepted.

    Also, the guy from Egypt was submitting multiple leads from the SAME IP address seconds apart. Maybe he had an automated script for stealing cash hand over fist.

    Someone said that the strong affiliates shy away from high pay-per-lead programs because they probably fail early on. Tee hee.

    This system stops cheaters in their tracks. Foreign IPS, proxy IPs, multiple submissions from the same IP, false email address. All that gets verified in real time.

    Folks, if you operate as a pay-per-lead merchant WATCH OUT.

    Also, does anyone have any advice to scare those crooks away to begin with? Similar to an Burglar Alarm sticker on the front of your house? Or attack dogs in the yard?

    Also, this may explain the reason for the dead email addresses for some of the affiliate applications. Well the jokes on them!!

    It's just sad how much time and money gets invested in catching and preventing fraud. Whew.

    Wayne Walter

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Nunya, Business
    Did you forward this to SAS? This guy should get the boot.

  3. #3
    Yes, I did. Sent the SSAID, the IP address, and the facts.
    I booted him off my list.

  4. #4
    By the way, if SAS boots the guy, he can just create a new domain name and email and re-signup. I signed up as an affiliate. All you need is a valid email address that matches your website domain. That doesn't mean anything.

    So, in other words, us merchants are on our own to protect ourselves.

    I for one viciously protect against cheaters so I can AFFORD to pay the honest, hard working affiliates.

    I LOVE those affiliates with all my heart and soul. Slamming the cheaters surely gets honest affiliates excited too right?

    Right now, I'm working on how to stay Parasite free. I posted a question about ideas on how to squash parasites and prevent them using technology.


  5. #5
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Wayne, I feel for ya'. I managed a couple lead programs and fraud was rampant, and often very hard to spot. I'm curious how you detect the proxy guys? The most sophisticated I saw rotated behind hundreds of proxies, varied submission times and submited real contact information.

    They basically buy or generate leads and resubmit to every offer under the sun. In talking to some of the leads myself I could tell they had been submitted to at least 10 different offers, probably a lot more. We were paying $30 a lead. Multiply even part of that by 10 programs getting burned and the thieves rake in a tidy fortune.

    Only way I can see to stop it is to report enough of them to whatever federal agency investigates that sort of fraud and get a few high profile convictions... There's the money angle, but also what amounts to harrassment of the leads.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 21st, 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Hi Wayne,

    I would like to think we have gotten pretty good at this type of thing.

    Feel free to contact me off board - matt /at/
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  7. #7

    Wow. Eathan, I appreciate your confirmation that there are fraud rings that sophisticated. I was warned and suspected as much. But you verified it.

    About detecting proxies, it seems unwise on a public forum to be very specific about how our company detects proxies because culprits might find holes. But below, I'll give you a general idea of what it does.

    First, we borrowed ideas from every website possible about detecting proxies. We invented some proprietary ways also, by comparing good servers to proxy servers. And we even engineered a system to catch those that our primary defenses miss. That final catch might let a few false leads through but only 1 to 5 before we catch them.

    The reason it took so much work came from the requirement that this all occur in REAL TIME in less than 1 or 2 seconds when a lead signs up.

    Why? Because you never want to reverse any affiliate commissions because as you know, SAS reports the persentage of reversals to affiliates.

    Since our scrubbing happens in real time, once the server reports a lead, it never gets reversed.

    Even those Egyptian and Chinese guys caught earlier never fired the lead to SAS. So it was never necessary to reverse them--just report them to SAS.

    But SO many hurdles for cheaters have been setup that it would be enormously difficult to beat them all.

    Even the ring you mention that submitted from hundreds of proxies with valid contact info at various times could only possibly get a couple of leads credited before getting NAILED with this technology.

    The best part about this system comes from making more money available to pay honest, hard working affiliates.

    I assume all par-per-lead merchants have system like this, right? If not, maybe this software is marketable. Ones thing is for sure, much like spam, it's an on going battle.

    You know, it would be a HUGE advantage to run this system on a number of merchants sites and pool the data to analyze and catch crooks even faster. Hmmm. Interesting thought.

    Wayne Walter

  8. #8
    Believe knight01's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 14th, 2006
    Dayton, Ohio
    Wayne - Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. I've been kicking around setting up a lead program and am considering SAS since it generally has a good reputation.

    Would you mind if I pick your brain a bit in private about what you've done and what SAS is doing to help detect lead fraud?

  9. #9
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Wayne, I'm likely going to be consulting on a couple new lead programs in the next few months. Your system sounds worth looking at. Maybe that market exists. In any case, I'll likely want to pick your brain as well.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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