Beware of These 6 Common Affiliate Marketing Scams in 2024

By Myilraj G 

Updated on Jan 3, 2024


Affiliate Marketing

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If you are an affiliate marketer, check out these affiliate marketing scams to protect yourself. This ultimate guide will help you stay away from common scams in 2024. I have covered everything you need to know to stay safe in this digital world.

Affiliate marketing is a type of advertising in which a third-party publisher gets compensated for promoting the goods or services of another retailer. They compensate affiliate partners for assisting the retailer in generating new leads or sales.

Most affiliate networks typically pay between 5% and 15% of the successful conversion of leads into revenue from a specific link.

However, a few affiliate programs offer smaller commissions on highly competitive products and services. Most affiliate programs pay a one-time affiliate commission (on the very first unique sale).

However, certain referrals may generate ongoing payments depending on the type of goods or services supplied.

Subscription-based products and services give you a recurring affiliate commission.

Common Affiliate Marketing Scams

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Despite the worries, affiliate marketing is completely a legal way to make money and has been a highly successful client acquisition channel.

Affiliate Business is not only legal, but it is also expanding.

However, as we’ve already stated, while the vast majority of the affiliate sector is legitimate, not every affiliate marketing scheme is.

Unfortunately, like with any form of online business (and many offline ones), there are a few bad apples.

A few affiliate marketing scams are dodgy pop-ups, fraudulent items, a flurry of bad feedback, and fraudulent promises to make you a billionaire overnight.

As with any industry, anything that appears to be too good to be true should raise a red signal. This article will show you what common affiliate marketing scams are and how to avoid them.

Is Affiliate Marketing A Scam?

Many people have this question (Is Affiliate Marketing a Scam?) in their minds, especially when they are new!

People spend more time online, specifically after the pandemic, which prompted a global shift to a virtual work environment. As a result, eCommerce activity has surged significantly.

According to RAND research, all age groups are shopping online more than before the pandemic. Therefore, the possibility of fraud increases when customers buy more and from more online sources.

People who are new to affiliate marketing and eager to learn – fall prey to fake affiliate marketing training packages.

There are free affiliate marketing tutorials available, but most of us, especially those just starting out, prefer a more in-depth course, perhaps with some assistance if feasible.

Affiliate marketing is similar to any other business in that you must learn and invest money to succeed. And that’s why we get pulled into purchasing one course after another eBook.

There are lots of people online who are eager to sell you a course, an e-book, a webinar, or other sorts of information. They are nearly everywhere on the internet.

Many of these training programs are nothing more than scams. You don’t learn anything useful. At best, you’ll get an e-book full of nonsense and no actual (useful) lessons.

Not all affiliate marketing training courses and eBooks are false or scams. Some classes are precious, but you must do your research.

Hold off on purchasing until you have done some research on the course or the folks behind it.

Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons

Overall, the goal of the game is to earn a pleasing portion of the sales. Affiliate marketing, like everything else, has its pros and cons.

If you are wondering how to get started with affiliate marketing and explore challenges and opportunities, this business will help you get off to a good start.

Let’s get started with the list of affiliate marketing pros and cons.


  1. Low-cost Business Concept.
  2. Million Dollar Business.
  3. No Experience is Needed.
  4. Secondary Source of Income.
  5. The Working Schedule is Flexible.


  1. You cannot own an Affiliate Marketing Program.
  2. A customer base cannot be established.
  3. There is no guarantee for revenue.
  4. There is a possibility to hack affiliate links.
  5. Need a lot of patience.

7 Common Affiliate Marketing Scams

Affiliate Marketing scams are unfortunately common in the digital world. If you are just planning to start an affiliate marketing business, you should read this article.

Good and bad things in business are usual. We must be responsible for using our little common sense to identify the bad.

To be more specific, if you wish to avoid affiliate marketing fraud, avoid any of the following:

1. Get Rich Quick

Affiliate Marketing is No Get Rich Quick Program

So, get-rich-quick schemes aren’t solely affiliate fraud. However, get-rich-quick schemes are a real problem in the affiliate sector.

New affiliate marketers are actively looking for ways to make a lot of money online, so if someone tells them they can earn thousands of dollars in a short period and effort, some of them will listen.

While Shopify is correct in stating that affiliate programs can be “as large values as those running the affiliate program make it” – there is a considerable difference between paying large rewards and promising to make you a millionaire tomorrow.

Fortunately, it’s very straightforward to recognize affiliate marketing scams like this. Because they often want you to hand over a considerable sum — often thousands of dollars — in exchange for teaching you their proven, 100% effective money-making technique.

Almost all affiliate programs are entirely free to join. If you are required to pay a charge upfront, that’s a significant red flag.

Any hidden method or training program that promises a huge profit in a short period is a warning indication that you should take a step back and investigate deeper.

Legitimate affiliate marketing takes time to learn, and while you earn money, it will not happen immediately. You must have a strategy to put into action before you can earn any money.

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2. Pay-to-Join Programs

To emphasize, the vast majority of affiliate programs are entirely free to join. Most companies actively seek new affiliate marketers, so why would they charge you for the benefit?

A few may need a tiny payment to clear out spammers, but it will rarely be more than a minor fee. When you come across an affiliate program that charges a fee to join, your guard should go up.

Do your investigation before inputting your payment card or PayPal information by:

  • Searching for the company in question.
  • Inquire on forums such as AffiliateFix and Afflict.
  • Keep an eye out for bad feedback in reviews.

Be aware of this scam to avoid having your personal information taken online.

3. Give up Earlier

Maybe you have started an affiliate website and put in the effort and time, but there’s nothing to show for it. Perhaps you’ve considered making one, but it appears to be a lot of effort; it’s hard, and, risky.

Things may appear to be that way, but this is just as false as claiming that affiliate marketing is easy money.

The fundamental issue of giving up is people’s lack of trust in themselves and the concept of earning passive money. Many folks are put off by how daunting it all seems.

If you are not particularly tech-savvy or do not have a history in marketing or company management, it can all seem quite complex and intimidating. It’s perfectly understandable to want to give up.

The marketed things, products, offers, or websites will also influence the success percentage of an affiliate marketing campaign.

Affiliate marketers frequently fail because they falsely think they can do what the experts do and promote expensive products using dodgy advertising tactics with limited funds. That’s a roadmap to failure.

4. Phoney Marketing

Of all other affiliate marketing scams, people fall quickly into this Phoney Marketing method. Here, the fake affiliate scammers use to call people and convince them to try their affiliate products or services.

Nowadays, telemarketing is a common practice in all businesses and it is an easy way to get customers. Companies can interact with their customers directly through this method.

As said, every good has a bad, and a phony marketing affiliate scam is not an exception. These marketers try to sell e-books, DVDs, CDs, PDFs, etc. along with the offer price.

And they make fake promises that once you complete their course, you will become rich quickly by implementing those procedures.

Phoney marketers are very clever in convincing people by showing fake testimonials, websites, and reviews. Use your little common sense and do your research to distinguish these marketers.

They may go one step ahead and promise you a money-back guarantee if the program does not work for you. But, once you bought the course, you will not get your money back at any cause.

Contacting them again is almost impossible.

5. Fake Training Programs

Fake training programs are another common affiliate marketing scam happening everywhere. As businesses want to take competitive advantages in marketing, advertising, telemarketing, etc., puts people fall into fake training programs.

That is why these fakers put up training programs that are delivered by ebooks, DVDs, CDC, webinars, seminars, and even live demonstrations.

Typically, these trainers make unrealistic claims that if you finish their awesomely outstanding training, you’ll be on your way to being filthy rich.

As you are aware, the goal of affiliate marketing is to assist others in earning money. Low-quality training courses, on the other hand, are one of the most prevalent affiliate marketing frauds.

They promise the world, typically at a temptingly low price (in comparison to legitimate solutions), but all you get is a branded T-shirt and a load of advice recycled from free sites. And, of course, there are no refunds after you receive the course materials.

Again, ask about it, read reviews, and remember that if it’s the lowest option on the market, there’s a reason for that.

6. Fake Products and Services

Affiliate marketers make money by promoting the products or services of others. Look into a company that promises you thousands of dollars in income.

What exactly are you trying to sell? It is nothing more than a fraud if there are no actual goods or services.

Affiliate marketing opportunities are set up like pyramid scams with no one making money. To join the scheme, financial investment is needed. These schemes are completely unlawful! You will lose your investment and any affiliate income from it.

Then there are affiliate programs that show a product or service, but the product or service appears to be too good to be true. No bad feedback? Are you looking for consistent results?

Before marketing a product or service, conduct a background investigation on it.

One guaranteed way to avoid this is to go directly to the product or service’s official website and see whether they have an affiliate program. Perhaps contact the support personnel and inquire.

Another alternative is to just join well-established affiliate networks. In this manner, you can be certain that the products and services you promote are genuine.

How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams?

Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams

Before enrolling in any affiliate program or affiliate training course, conduct your research. Several well-known and respectable courses in the industry are difficult to find when you are new.

In general, products with dollar bills, multiple ads, lengthy and sensational writing, and numerous redirects will indicate affiliate marketing scams.

These scams have a persistent clickbaity appearance, which you should be aware of.

However, a spotless, professional website does not guarantee a 100% legitimate affiliate network or training course. Use some of the above-mentioned tips to identify frequent scams.

Here are a few more suggestions:

1. Search for Program Review

A quick web search can check the legitimacy of an affiliate course. A well-known scam will always have complaints and reviews from dissatisfied individuals.

Even if there aren’t many negative comments, five or so should be enough to steer clear.

Again, Google is your best buddy in this case. The most obvious technique to determine the legitimacy of any affiliate scheme or training course is to Google it.

If it’s a well-known fraud, you’ll almost certainly find reports about it online.

If you can’t tell by looking for the name, try an alternative search like,

  • [affiliate course name] fraud
  • [affiliate program name] rip-off
  • [affiliate program name] reviews
  • [affiliate program name] + scam
  • [affiliate program name] + testimonials

Examine affiliate marketing discussion boards and blogs. What training programs do other affiliate marketers recommend? What courses do they recommend avoiding?

2. Read their Terms and Conditions

Before signing up for an affiliate marketing program, read the company’s terms and conditions.

A reliable company should be open and honest about how the affiliate marketing system functions, the benefits you can receive as an affiliate partner, the commission structure, and the payment system.

Look out for too-optimistic terms or unrealistic commission rates, which can suggest affiliate fraud.

3. Request Real People and Testimonials

You should request testimonials from the firm. You should not rely on those posted on their website. Those may have been written by anyone.

Request the addresses and names of people you can contact to learn how the program worked for them.

Try searching on your preferred search engine as well. You have a good possibility of uncovering any truth by searching for scams or the firm name.

Examine the testimonials thoroughly. If you come across some negative feedback, don’t be put off.

People aren’t always cut out for specific programs. Things will probably be okay because there is more positives than negatives out there.

You can also utilize these testimonials to get guidance on what you should and should not do.

4. Look out for Customer Support

As a newbie to affiliate marketing, you should investigate whether the businesses provide outstanding customer service. You should be able to contact the merchant if you have any problems.

They should also make product marketing recommendations. A true brand would always want you to succeed since it will boost its performance.

It should include a toll-free number as well as an email address for customer assistance.

Sending the company an email with some clear questions is a fantastic litmus test. Check to see if they are quick and provide tools to assist you in establishing your business in affiliate marketing.

If it takes them weeks to respond, you should reconsider using this brand. They may have extra internal issues if they have communication problems.

A good corporation will take care of its relationships with affiliate partners.

5. Examine Company History

In the odd event, that Google does not provide you with all of the information you require, go directly to the business site.

Professional websites are constantly present in the affiliate marketing industry. Browse their About page to understand about the company’s past performance.

Check when the company started its operation and how long it had been in the field.

They should present information or data on how their affiliate program has grown in terms of revenue or the number of affiliates over time.

You may also discover their track records with the affiliate marketing program by searching for external sources on the internet, such as news and publications.


Anything that appears to be too perfect to be true usually is. That is to say, you are better off being skeptical of a course or program.

Be skeptical of unrealistic offers, get-rich-quick schemes, and any firms (especially foreign ones) proposing to assist you with something out of the blue. You have nothing to worry about if you use common sense.

As an affiliate, there are hundreds of genuine and fully legal ways to generate money. Be careful of affiliate marketing fraudsters, but don’t let them keep you awake at night!

In this article, I’ve shared some handy tips for avoiding the most typical frauds before signing up for an affiliate network.

However, there are several strategies to prevent affiliate marketing scams. I hope this post assists you in developing a profitable affiliate marketing business.

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Myilraj G Author OnlineHomeIncome Blog

Hi, I am Myilraj.G!

Myilraj. G is a full-time Blogger, Content Writer, and Digital Marketer. A first-generation entrepreneur started his career as a blogger in 2013.

He helped 600+ individuals across India and a few outside India to start their blogging careers. He also helped SMEs to create their digital presence through his impeccable Digital marketing assistance.

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