Affiliate marketing has become a popular way for companies to sell their products by letting other people do the marketing and pay them a commission for every customer who buys. The advantage of this method is that the business gets to sell many products by broadening its marketing reach, and the affiliates make money from every product sold through their leads. 

It’s possible for affiliates to make a fortune through marketing if they learn to do it properly. There are courses such as Legendary Marketer and other online business classes that help people design a strategy to become top affiliate marketers. Even though it’s possible to truly make money in this kind of marketing, many people have fallen victim to marketing scams. 

Affiliate Marketing Scams

Affiliate marketing scams occur when people create fake marketing campaigns in the pretence of paying commissions. Usually, these websites don’t own the products and only use them to collect money from unsuspecting and hopeful marketers. These frauds always have some warning signs you should notice to know whether an affiliate marketing program is a scam. 

Here are some of the things you should check:

1. Pay To Join Products

Pay to join programs can be compared to when you’re asked to pay some fee when applying for a job. The best way to describe such programs is a scam because why would a site that wants you to market their products ask you to pay before working for them? If you ever come across such instances, you should avoid them.

The problem with these programs is once you pay the money, you may never be able to withdraw again. They’ll give you excuses such as referring several people and selling a certain number of products before the withdrawal can be activated. 

2. Get Rich Quickly Schemes

Get rich quickly is a fraud most people usually fall for. Of course, people will take the opportunity to be rich, but if it’d be that easy, then everybody wouldn’t work. These fraud companies always prey on people’s mindset of making money quickly without much effort by promising precisely that. This makes people join the schemes without doing background research.

When you come across such schemes, it should be a warning sign that you’re falling for a scam. Some of the promises on the program could be unrealistic, and even an unsuspecting mind can quickly identify something’s wrong.

5 Warning Signs Of Affiliate Marketing Scams 1

3. Fake Products 

Scammers have found a way to make their methods more sophisticated by using products to lure suspects into paying the money. Marketers can put a lot of time into marketing non-existent products to customers. The best way to identify fake products is by looking at the reviews and the quality of photos. Generally, these websites will use downloaded photos for marketing themselves, which reduces the quality. 

Additionally, the products may have so many positive reviews. For example, a product could have all its ratings marked as five-star, which is very uncharacteristic of any genuine product. You may also check on the brand’s official website to see if there’s an official affiliate marketing run. This will help flag fake products and scam programs.

4. Ghost Websites

Another way to identify scam affiliate marketing is blank pages on their website or links to non-existent websites. For example, you may find a button containing reviews or payment proofs, but they don’t open or they display zero content when you click on it. Some people may interpret this as a glitch in the system and still join the program. 

However, this isn’t a glitch in the system but a red flag. There are no payment proofs because no one has ever been paid in the system. Moreover, a reputable company will have functional pages on its website.

5. Recurring Complaints

One of the essential factors affiliate marketers should always consider is to do proper research before joining any program. This is because other people might have joined before you and they can tell you about their experiences. If you realize there are recurring complaints about the program from other clients such as lagging, slow communication, or withdrawal issues, take that as a red flag and avoid it. 

It’s important that any affiliate marketer or whoever wants to join conduct thorough research on any company. You can also use social media to ask people about the site you want to join.


Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make extra money and connect with buyers. However, their market is flooded with many frauds and scams selling themselves as legit affiliate marketing programs. These have made people cast doubts on affiliate marketing and avoid joining them. 

However, if you conduct proper research, there are warning signs such as complaints, fake products, and fake promises that will help you identify scams. This will help you join legitimate programs and avoid losing money. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you utilize affiliate marketing wisely.

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By Clare Anderson

Not a green elephant! Part-time blogger in technology, gaming and gadgets.

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