How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams- Tips to Keep You Safe

Disclosure (full version- Some of the links you’ll encounter are affiliate links. If you click and buy something, I will get a commission. Thank you! 

Affiliate marketing business model is the real deal but unfortunately so are the scams associated with it.

You must be informed to avoid online scams and get the awesome benefits of affiliate marketing.
The good news is that this article will give you the skinny on the most common affiliate frauds and how to avoid them.
Let’s go!

These are the 4 common affiliate marketing scams

#1- Here’s my book for free- just pay for shipping

That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Who spends countless hours writing a good book only to then give it away form free?

No one in their right state of mind would do that.

And if they’re crazy you wouldn’t want reading it anyway 😀

No, the price of the book and the profits are calculated into the shipping price.

Don’t fall for this time tested scam.

There’ no free lunch in life.

#2- Companies selling your info to solicitors

This is the doing of the so called “gurus”.
To play it safe you can first buy bitcoin and then proceed to buy a cheap product from an “expert” and leave your contact info with them.

An then you regret it as you you start getting bombarded with products and expensive course’s pitches to no end.

You see, what happened is that the said guru sold your info to the highest bidder and now they want to make it worth their while by getting you to buy crap you don’t need.

But now you know better!

#3- Affiliate programs that don’t pay

Not much to say here. Most programs do pay and I don’t want to scare you away, but there are definitely those that prey on the newbie affiliates.
So you work your ass off to make sales and rake commission, and they don’t’ pay up. Simply refuse and you can’t even argue because often the phone you find for support is fake.

This is rare and has never happened to me, but be aware it’s possible and do your due diligence.

Pro tip: as a happy affiliate, I strongly suggest you promote SEMrush. SEMrush’s lucrative affiliate program has been a game changer for me when it comes to affiliate commissions.

Their payout per referral is a massive $200!

SEMrush affiliate program
SEMrush affiliate program- great for new affiliates!

#4- Constant upselling

Upselling is ubiquitous in the online world.

What is it?
It’s when you buy a product that offers the world, and then you discover its only a part of the map, a tiny piece of the puzzle that works but would work even better were you to get even bigger pieces.

And by bigger, I mean more expensive

So you get sucked into a vicious circle where you buy a product, that’s quickly followed by an upsell. Than that upsell demand an add-on and that add-on leads to the penultimate piece of the puzzle.

Meaning one more product to buy after that to make what you already shelled money for really work.

That’s disgusting behavior if you ask me. I remember, when I  was a newbie and strapped for chash,, I couldn’t afford all those upsells and it made me feel bad because the sales page said, that I needed them or else I’ll fail.

Upselling is a type of scam, clean and simple.

That’s why I love Wealthy Affiliate.

With them you pay once and you get everything they promised, and no upsells what so ever.

In fact, every future upgrade of the platform is yours automatically.

What, don’t know what Wealthy Affiliate is?

Click the link above to find out.

How to check whether product X is a scam?

Use the good old Google Suggest
what is it?

It’s when Google suggests phrases for you based on what you type.
Here’s what I get when I type “Wealthy Affiliate Review” followed by a space

The pro of this approach is that Google suggests only popular phrases so you know you’re googling something other people are too.
But that’s only the first step.

The second step is to verify whether a company is truly legit.
The best way to do that is to go to page 3 and 4 of Google and find a popular forum on the topicc, and simply read what other folks say.

Now, there are things to be aware of, since this is still the internet where anyone can have their say

If someone says, “uff, this product is crap, THIS one is way better”!

Don’t listen to them because they’re an affiliate for that other product and want to get you to buy.

However, if someone says, “this product is really bad because of reasons”, and the comment seems genuine and non promotional, that it’s probably legit.

Finally, the reason I said scroll to the first 3 pages of Google, is because the first page will be filled with shady marketers looking to promote stuff so their reviews will be very biased.


I’ll finish this article the same way I started it.

Affiliate marketing business model is the real deal but unfortunately, so are the scams associated with it.
Be smart, think before you act and if something seems to good to be true, it probably is.

And above all- keep pursuing the dream of passive income.
Yes, it is possible with affiliate marketing business model, and for many people, it’s a sweet reality.
But before you do that, leave me a comment below

Nikola Roza

Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. He's also passionate about precious metals IRAs and how to invest in gold and silver for a safer financial future. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.

2 thoughts on “How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams- Tips to Keep You Safe”

  1. That’s good information you have shared. I have never faced any issue with any affiliate regarding payment and I believe the reason behind that is I have always worked with the reputed & well know network only. That is the key point to get success in affiliate marketing. You have shared very useful information and as a beginner, everyone must know these facts. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Santanu.
      Most affiliate programs are totally legit. There are just a few rotten apples that give bad rap to affiliate marketing.
      But that’s business, that’s life.
      Thanks for stopping by to comment.


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