Today on the Alanbase blog there is an interesting and instructive article about the detection and prevention of fraud in affiliate business in particular and in the online space in general.
Fraud prevention is an important part of the affiliate business. Until recently, the situation with fraud in it was very, very sad: bots, farming accounts, cheating views and visits are the most “innocent” pranks of scammers.
If all these illegal actions were stopped using anti-fraud tools, as a rule, everything ended up with a maximum ban of the account of an unscrupulous partner in one of the affiliate programs on one of the online platforms.
At the same time, there are no such anti-fraud tools that could track the re-registration of such a fraudster in another affiliate program with a different email address, nickname and wallet in another payment system.
Until recently, the severity of the laws governing the relationship of all participants in the partnership business was offset by the non-mandatory nature of their implementation and the ability to avoid administrative, and even more so criminal liability.
Now the situation is changing.
Is the expanse for scammers in the affiliate business over?
Measures to prevent fraud in affiliate business are being taken in USA, Europe, and the EU countries, but here the legal system that regulates online relationships is in its infancy.
This was the case until the end of 2021, until, at least in USA, a high-profile lawsuit broke out, the main defendant of which was a bot grower from New York.
John Karter, a resident of New York, is accused of illegal actions.
The bots that the person involved in this case created and sold allowed users to play in automatic mode. The bot took control of the player’s technique, allowing the latter to easily earn points and in-game currency in the game, as well as gain an advantage over other players who played fairly.
The injured party is Wargaming, which, failing to use the necessary tools to fight fraud in time, suffered losses a lot of money, as was stated at the trial.
Tools to fight affiliate fraud and more
Are there special tools to combat fraud in affiliate programs? Where else do they apply and to whom is fraud prevention as important as affiliates, advertisers, product owners?
The main scourge of affiliate marketing (affiliate) is traffic fraud. Simply put, deliberate non-compliance with the conditions of a particular affiliate program, attracting traffic by prohibited methods.
The most common options:
- bot traffic (imitation of the actions of real people on the landing page using special programs)
- motivated traffic – real people perform some actions on the landing page for a fee (register, fill out questionnaires, etc.).
Traffic fraud prevention is achieved by connecting special anti-fraud systems. On modern SaaS platforms hosting affiliate programs, anti-fraud systems are built in by default. They are one of the most effective anti-fraud tools.
For your information. Part of the fraud can be detected independently. Simply by carefully analyzing data from GA and Yandex.Metrica, filtering traffic for each specific webmaster.
The only thing is: doing it manually is, of course, not as convenient as having automatic tools to combat fraud.
E-Commerce Fraud Prevention
E-commerce representatives are also interested in effective fraud prevention methods.
In e-commerce, you can run into not only fraud with traffic.
For example, stolen credit card information is used to deceive merchants.
Even in so-called “first world” countries such as the US, it is hard enough to prevent this kind of fraud.
Law enforcement agencies are often much less equipped than cyber criminals, and law enforcement officers themselves are not qualified (and sometimes willing) to prevent e-commerce fraud.
In addition to using other people’s credit card details, the owner of an online store may face fraudulent product returns, trading in goods from a real store, but from a fake site, the so-called triangulation fraud, and so on.
Some new scheme appears every day, and in order to prevent fraud, the owner of an online trading platform needs to constantly be aware of what is happening. Only if you constantly monitor new fraudulent schemes will you have no time to run a business, make a profit and enjoy your activities.
Yet the prevention of fraud in e-commerce is a direct concern of its participants. Because both sellers and buyers suffer from the actions of fraudsters.
What methods can the owner of a regular online store use to prevent fraud?
If you do not have a boxed version of the store, but it is hosted somewhere in the cloud, then even before placement and payment, you should ask the service provider or representative of the SaaS platform how security issues are resolved, how protected are the personal data of users?
If the online store is hosted on your own domain, and not on an online platform, make sure you have a reliable SSL certificate that allows you to securely accept payments, and consider mechanisms for protecting the personal data of your customers.
Feel free to create an online store blog and write a few articles for your visitors about the most common fraudulent schemes with instructions on how to recognize them in time, as well as explanations on how to safely order and pay for goods in your online store.
Follow industry security standards, keep your online store software up-to-date, and don’t neglect updates even if you work in the cloud.
Use third-party fraud prevention software packages if they support integration with your CMS.
You may now think that the war against scammers is impossible to win, but we started this article by saying that the situation is changing. And right now you can, if not win, significantly reduce your risks and minimize possible losses from the actions of scammers.