Fraudulent affiliate applications are a growing problem. Actions on the part of affiliate program providers are necessary to combat this money costing wrong doing. Many of these fraudulent operators have made it into the system. This is particularly problematic for pay-per-click and pay-per-lead programs. Upcoming methods for fighting this problem will involve computer programs designed for detection of violators. There are also actions you can take that do not require a computer program.

For affiliates already in the system, look at unusual click to sales ratios, this should be about the same as generally posted in the industry. Unusual ratios may come from organized groups of affiliates whose members click on each other’s banners. If lead conversion rates are low from an affiliate, look at his overall activity. If he or she is producing a high number of leads with low rates of conversion, and with only one site or only a few sites, then investigation may uncover a fraudulent affiliate.

In the case of new affiliate applications, check for coherent information. If the name of the company on the application seems like an odd fit for the desired promotion, you may want to throw out the application.

Check to see if the IP address matches the country which they say they are in. Look for anything that does not match up or make sense. Read the company description. A pass word is better if it does not appear to be computer random made.

You can provide a couple of questions on your application that have just one or two possible answers. If you see “L.A. Times” checked as an answer for “Where did you see our ad?” when you did not advertise in that paper, then you should throw out the application.

There are five main types of fraud in this business: Unjustified clicking, Mistyped name domains, Spam, Credit card fraud, and there is also some adware that installs itself on personal computers that steal from you by redirecting your potential customers to another site.

The problem of fraud with affiliate applications is significant and the methods for fighting back are evolving as we learn new ways to combat this problem. If you have the time, you can always make a phone call to the number on the application. This may reveal a question about the affiliate that leads to saved time for you by throwing out the app.