How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams

Affiliate Marketing has been gaining more popularity, it has become a more popular option for people looking for ways to earn money online and start an online business.  There are many genuine examples of Affiliate Marketing but How do You Avoid All of the Affiliate Marketing Scams that profess to be Affiliate Marketing but are actually MLM products or just pure scams designed to leave you out of pocket.

We will be exploring these in more detail in this post.

Scammers Are Everywhere – The Landscape is Changing

Whilst we would all like to believe that every opportunity online is a genuine one… there are many out there that are sullyingHow to avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams the name of Genuine Affiliate Marketing.

We are now seeing a number of companies crossing over into the Affiliate Marketing industry, that are in fact nothing to do with Affiliate Marketing.

Unfortunately, many people looking for a genuine affiliate marketing opportunity are lacking in the knowledge to find out what the signs are to spot these scams or opportunities that are not related.  That is why I wanted to write this post and help anyone find out how to spot these and avoid them.

Find Out About a Genuine Affiliate Marketing Opportunity with my Wealthy Affiliate Review

How to Spot Affiliate Marketing Scams

I want to share with you the 5 most common scams out there professing to be affiliate marketing but are actually just ways of wasting a load of money without any return or handing over your personal information for people to flood your inbox with loads of marketing for other products wanting you to spend money. (the Common Theme)

1.Low Ticket to High Ticket.
There are many scammers out there that will try to sell you a product/service on a very low-ticket price.  They will state that they will offer you everything you need to get started for a low price like $7-$49.  But in reality, you will find that as soon as you join there will be a lot upsells immediately after.  Upsells that can easily run into the $1000’s.  They will also get quite rude if you do not buy these up-sells.  They are not pleasant at all.  Make sure you know what you are actually buying through proper research first.
2.Free Plus Shipping Book.

You may have seen these in your social media feed but are very common. Companies pitch you the idea of getting a free book, all you need to pay is for the shipping. At first, these look like a great deal – you get a book that helps you learn a subject, but they are actually just a ploy to get your personal details.  That way they can send you a lot of promotional stuff about the products they want you to buy.  You will also notice that these books are not actually that great and are again just promotional towards their real product.

3.Join Program, to Promote (MLM).

There are companies that present themselves as Affiliate Marketing but are actually Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM). Anything that is MLM is not Affiliate Marketing.

The difference is the multi-levels.  You need to really careful with these types of programs. Once you are in, typically at a high price ($1,000-$50,000) to recoup your money you have to then promote the program to others to buy into.

The FTC regularly take these types of programs as fraud, Pyramid schemes or Ponzi schemes. This can cause you problems if you are involved in one of these schemes as you just as liable as the owners.

4.Social Media Feed “I am in” for more details.

I see these every day on Facebook, but it is not just Facebook where you will see it. A marketer tells you how much they are earning (typically with a screenshot of earnings), how they can change your life then they pitch you the idea that they can teach you how to earn money like they do – by asking you to add to the thread “I am in” “Info”.

Let’s be honest, this is a red flag for me already and typically they are not making any money (or at least they will not be making the figures they state) and it gives them your details to try and sell you a network marketing scheme where you have to do the same to invite other people to the scheme.

5.Showcase Lifestyle & Money.

Any product that sells itself purely on lifestyle or flash cars is a scam.  The typically do not even mention a product or service, they just have a great video saying that this opportunity means you can earn loads of money whilst sitting by the pool and letting the ‘program’ do the work.

It is very hard to actually find out what you are getting into with these schemes, they focus on creating an emotive response to it.  It is clever in a way, as they show you a fantastic lifestyle and you get drawn in – But that is where you need to understand these schemes are out there to make the owners money and not make you money.

If you find that any product or service you are researching falls into any of these 5 categories, it is best to back away.  Otherwise you will fall into an affiliate marketing scam.

Why Do These Scams Exist?

They exist purely to make the owners money. They make money due to people getting drawn into the schemes.  When looking for ways to earn money online, you will fall across these schemes all too often and without proper research you can imagine how many people who do not understand fall into these traps.

The FTC and other government agencies out there created to protect you from such scams are always busy, and they do not tend to waste their time with a company until it is taking a minimum of $10m in revenue.

This means a lot of the smaller schemes can remain undetected and might last years, as long as they can suck new people in.

The only way we can stop these companies from going on is by understanding that these are scams and avoiding them altogether.

If you do not hand over any money to them, they will eventually have to either go legit or get out of the affiliate marketing game altogether.

Do Not Get Discouraged, Genuine Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Exist!

If you have read this and are feeling a bit discouraged, please do not be.  The Affiliate Marketing Industry is very ethical, it is absolutely huge and has amazing amounts of opportunity.

Affiliate Programs are appearing everywhere (genuine ones), all of the major brands and services have an affiliate program.  There are literally 550 million products and services online you could promote.

The opportunities for you to carve out your own successful affiliate marketing online business, without any experience are out there.

There is a legitimate process to building an online business, and it looks a little like this:

  • 1.Choose a Direction for your Business. This could be anything, there are a million niches out there.
  • 2.Build a Website/Blog to Promote Your Business. This is really easy nowadays. Within platforms like Wealthy Affiliate, you could easily have a website up and running in about 30 seconds.
  • 3.Getting Traffic to Your Business. There are plenty of ways to do this.  The primary way of doing this is getting your content ranked in the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) which is free to do, but there are other ways too – paid traffic, using social media and email marketing to name a few.
  • 4.Earn Revenue through Affiliate Programs. This is where the affiliate programs come in.  Whatever the niche, there are plenty of products/services that you could choose to promote in exchange for affiliate commission.  Affiliate commissions range from 2% to 75% depending on the company and it can lead to a high stream of income.

That is honesty the simple process of how Affiliate Marketing works.  All you need is a platform that can help you with the training, tools and environment to create and grow your own affiliate marketing business.

This platform is Wealthy Affiliate and it is completely free to join through their starter membership (no obligations or credit card required).

By the time you have completed lesson 4 of their training, steps 1 and 2 will be complete. You will also find by the end of the first course, you will understand the process of affiliate marketing, creating content and getting it ranked in the search engines, finding traffic and building a business for long-term success.

Anyways, I hope you have found this article useful and hopefully understand the types of scams that are pretending to be Affiliate Marketing and how not to get sucked into them.
If you have had any good or bad experiences with Affiliate Marketing, then please share your opinions or if you have any questions please leave a comment.  I will get back to you as soon as I can.

6 thoughts on “How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams”

  1. Other telltale signs include the claim that they will do “ALL THE WORK FOR YOU” and that they have tons of testimonials reporting how well the person or family is doing without any real information at all. A good business is transparent and hides nothing.

    I have been taken in by fake opportunities in the past and I will agree that it can be VERY discouraging to run across another of those scam marketers that want nothing more than to line their own pockets. I can also tell you that Wealthy Affiliates is not one of them.

    The training, support and community feel of loads of people wanting to help each other grow and help make this world a better place is nothing short of AWESOME! It’s real worth the look.

    • Hey Duncan,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.

      That is another great tell-tale sign for scams – what business is there where you do not need to put any effort in… The testimonials are usually fake, another one I have seen is they have a video with someone stating they are making thousands, but then you find it is an actor from

      Hopefully the more we promote genuine programs and highlight scams out there, people will not have to experience the frustration when you have found you have been drawn into a scam or scheme.

      Thanks for your support of Wealthy Affiliate – it is a great platform for those looking for a genuine opportunity.



  2. I have been looking to make money from home for a few years now, and I kept running into these scams you mention, particularly the Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) ones that want money before I even get started. I see you reference Wealthy Affiliate towards the end of the post- and I must say that the platform itself is amazing. 

    Starter membership for free…amazing! Any affiliate platform that allows you to create a website without a credit card needed is doing the right thing. 

    I joined them a few months ago and decided (after a month of the free program) that I wanted to upgrade my account and I have never looked back. I love your breakdown of everything and I look forward to reading your future posts!

    • Hey,

      Thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.

      MLM schemes are all about the people at the top earning loads of money whilst the guys at the bottom (who are led to believe they can earn big) are tirelessly trying and failing to make any money but have already invested too much to step away.

      Affiliate Marketing is a great way of earning money and you do not need to invest a lot to get started.  Wealthy Affiliate is an awesome platform that helps you without having to spend a penny.

      Many do decide to upgrade, but they do that on their own experience – a lot of programs want people to pay before you try – that is where Wealthy Affiliate is different, try it and make your own decision.  it is one of many reasons why I am a member and recommend them.

      But the first step is identifying a program that is genuine and is actually about Affiliate Marketing – Wealthy Affiliate is such a program.

      Thanks again


  3. One easy way to avoid this scam is if there is ever saying on easy money or earn big amount of money with a single click. I use this rule and I can keep myself safe as soon. Many scams out there want our money so they will ask us to pay some amount first before seeing a result.

    • Hi Kit,

      thanks for checking out my post and leaving some comments.

      That is a great way of identifying a scam, earning money online takes time and no one who tells you it is a ‘push-button’ system to earn money is not your friend.

      it is all about getting your money before you find out it wasn’t worth it – but it is too late, they have your money.

      thanks again



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