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6 Red Flags-Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams

As an Affiliate Marketer, you are exposed to thousands of scams daily. Today, I want to talk about how to avoid affiliate marketing scams. Keep these 6 red flags in mind to protect yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new or a seasoned marketer; everyone is vulnerable to these scams.

I searched long and hard for statistics on internet scams that flow along the lines of affiliate marketing, but found no concrete evidence for the number of people scammed.

The closest I came was ScamWatch out of Australia for 2019 stated 103 000 were reported this year with a loss of 765,000,000 dollars.

I will go out on a limb to say I bet 2 out of 3 online marketers have fallen for at least one scam in their career.

My Story

I am a victim of Affiliate marketing scams.

About 4 years ago I started an online blog for my poetry but I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing, so I went to YouTube to learn.

I set up my website, and away I went. I had every Tom, Darry, and Harry find me on the internet to “help.” All of them offered some form of “help” to optimize my website so that I could rank on the first page of Google.

The worst part is I helped these scammers put food on their table while I struggled. I trust people to do as they say because I am trustworthy.

Each time they scammed me, I was too embarrassed to report it or say anything to anyone. After all, I am an adult, and I should see these people coming a long way off.

The Laura Method

Are you reading this article because you have been the victim of a scam? Or are you looking at a program and wonder if it is a scam?

What Is Your Story?

I know that most of you reading this post have a story to tell. So what is your scam story?

Were you embarrassed? Did you feel like you should have seen the scam coming down the dirt road?

I don’t need to wait for the answer to these questions. I know how you felt because I felt the same way.

Please Be Aware!

Today, I will walk you down the dirty road of Red Flags that exist in affiliate marketing. I have written numerous reviews on programs that are either shady or scams which brought me to this article. 

Let’s stop the income for every scammer out there in our online world, not to mention let’s be aware of those trying to take out hard-earned money.

6 red flags of affiliate marketing scams

6 Red Flags – Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams

Here are the most important red flags found in almost all scams. 

  • Done for you or completely automated
  • Claim for high dollar income with very little work
  • Play on your emotions
  • Very little information about the product
  • Fake reviews
  • You have to pay to promote their program

Done For You Or Completely Automated

Often you will see DFY (done for you) written all over a sales page; in addition, it says you don’t need to do anything except copy and paste what they give you. When you watch a video or look at the sales page and see this statement, rest assured it is a scam.

There is nothing wrong with automation, but when someone tells you, it is a DFY program, run. It means you are taking advantage of you.

Affiliate Marketing is so much more than a copy and paste online business.

Claim For High Dollar Income With Very Little Work

Oh, this is a good one! Someone promoting their program may say,” you can make $35,000 a month starting now, and you only have to work 15 min a day.” They may even go as far as saying you can make $50,000 a month.

You are looking at a huge red flag because of the statement that you can make a lot of money without any effort. They usually follow it by a link to a website where you can sign up for free.

The claim for high-dollar is a scam. If you want to make money, you must put in the work. There is no other way around it.

If you are making a lot of money from affiliate marketing, you are doing something right. But if you are making a lot, you are probably working hard.

In order to make money with affiliate marketing, you must put in some work.

No one, I mean NO ONE, can only work 15 min a day and become rich.

Play On Your Emotions

Every scammer has a sob story about how their wife almost left them or how they lost everything to a scammer or how they were broke, and a wonderful person helped them the same way they will help you.

These stories are always the same. A man comes along, making them believe he is an angel sent from heaven. He then convinces them to join his team.

If you feel sorry for them, they are playing you.

Scammers love to use stories to get people emotionally attached to them.

And most of them want to show you pictures of fake vacations with yachts and Lamborghinis.

It is all a manipulative ploy to prey on your desire to live the rich and famous lifestyle.

Very Little Information About The Product

A scam program sales page will play on your emotions and entice you with get-rich-talk. Their quick-talking makes you click the “pay button” without even knowing what you bought. 

They also try to hide the fact that there is no genuine product behind the scenes.

The truth is, there is no product, or the program has very little substance, and they are just using your desire to be successful in tricking you into buying their program.

You are star-struck with the shiny object syndrome and click the pay button.

If you are not careful, you could end up losing thousands of dollars by joining a program that doesn’t deliver.

Examine the program for all red flags and make sure you know exactly what the program involves.

Fake Reviews

Oh, this is one of my favorites. When I do a review on a scam, one of the first things I do is screenshot the photo of the person giving a testimony or review and search Google Images.

At least one of the people giving testimonies is a paid actor.

Yep, the program is paying people to tell you how great their program is and how much money you can make. More than likely, the person does not even know what program they are endorsing. 

Another trick is to use stock photos a person can buy on, say Shutterstock, and the developer will write their own review.

If a program is so good, why do they need to be dishonest about their testimonies?

You Have To Pay To Promote Their Program

As an Affiliate Marketer, I go to companies and request to become their affiliate partner. I promote their product with an affiliate link on my website FREE, and they pay me an affiliate commission when someone purchases from my website.

I do not pay them a dime because I am their free advertisement. The affiliate and I are working together but not the scammer; they are only out to make a quick buck.

Many scams want you to upgrade so you can promote their product and have a license to share it.

Why pay them when you can promote products FREE?


Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams pin

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate business model that allows you to earn passive income while promoting other people’s products.

But beware of scammers who try to take advantage of you.

Be wary of programs that require you to pay to promote their product.

Always read reviews on Google before signing up for any affiliate program.

Never send payment until you receive a receipt from the company.

Do not sign anything unless you fully understand what it says.

Be cautious if you see anyone asking for money in exchange for a testimonial.

If you are unsure whether something is legit, ask yourself this question:

Is it too good to be true? If the answer is yes, then it is a scam!

The Laura Method

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Do you struggle with learning how to start an online business?

10 thoughts on “6 Red Flags-Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams”

  1. Hello; I can see that you have been scammed while seeking to do business online just like I have. It is one of the most hurtful disgusting occurrences that can ever befall a person who is honestly searching to do business online to upgrade their financial status.

     Scamming is a lucrative business for the dishonest predators that lingers online daily. Your post should serve as a positive help in the fight against online Scams. 

    Authorities should be taking more stringent measures to protect people from cybercrimes. There should not be any difficulty in finding these culprits

    Have you found any record of any online scammers who have been put to jail for their actions?


    • Hi Dorcas, yes a program called Mobe was shut down by the FTC. 3 individuals were indicted. There is still hope that scammers will be stopped. 

  2. This review will serve as a guideline for many people that have no clue on how scammer can penetrate their victims. Scammers are multiplying everyday and they have no job than to spam the internet with their fake testimonies about their product that people can venture into. All your overview on where they can show up are very true.i have read many reviews that warn people against scammer, so am familiar with some of the tricks they used. Thanks for this collection.

  3. You certainly hit the nail on the head here. Great information, this needs to be shared. Starting an online business requires diligence and “elbow grease”. Any site boasting simplicity, little work and high income is a joke. I’ve learned that there is real commitment and learning to be had in the world of online business, but the fruit of the labor is absolutely there! Thanks for helping us fellow affiliate marketers out by outlining these red flags.

    • Chris, you are so welcome. If the red flags are there, it is time for concern. The old saying if it is too good to be true, then it is will always stand. 

  4. Since there are LOTS of scams and foolish sites, programs and stuff promising huge amounts of money with no time, almost without a job done in the money-make online industry, it’s always nice to get honest reviews from recognizable persons to avoid scams and to have some general awareness. Personally, I didn’t get scammed but I was about to lose some money before I found Wealthy Affiliate platform. Thanks for a good site!

    • You are so welcome. It is my pleasure to help out in any way I can. Wealthy Affiliate is an incredible and honest platform. With effort and diligence one can create an online presence and reach the world. 

  5. Very useful article you created here on the 6 red flags to avoid in affiliate marketing! It took me awhile to notice because I’m always trying to find ways to make money online and it is hard, it does take time. people need to realize that if it sounds too good to be true or if they’re saying you don’t need to do much to get the income coming then its not going to happen at all. Building an online business is just the same as building a regular business it takes time either way.

    • You are so right about the online business the same as a brick and mortar business. It all takes time and effort, but in the end, the passive income speaks for itself. 


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