4 Toxic Affiliate Marketing Scams You Must Avoid

 5 min read

Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?

In short, absolutely. There is a general prejudice against affiliate marketing and the saying that it is mostly a scam, but the truth is that affiliate programs can be as high value as the marketeer running the programs construct them to be.

Now, are you tired of being assaulted by affiliate marketing scams on a daily basis?

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing that is mainly conducted online and includes advertising methods such as SEO, Pay-Per-Click Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Content Marketing, and Display/banner Advertising.

There’s no denying that it’s a legitimate industry.

Even so, since anybody can put up anything online these days, this form of marketing can often involve scams.

That’s why it’s time for you to pay attention and bear these poisonous affiliate marketing hoaxes in mind!

Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar business but you know as well as anybody that – whenever there’s brass to be made – shady methods to deceive people will pop up like an uncontrollable virus.

As far as online marketing is concerned, scammers often hide behind the keyboard, making up fictitious identities and outlining ways to fool people not only locally but across geographical borders.

Despite awareness, there’s someone falling prey to affiliate marketing scams every single day.

4 Common Affiliate Marketing Scams

1. Phony Marketing

This is a commonly used scam. It’s the marketing of phony courses and training.

Everyone wants to get that extra edge over their competitors in business, marketing, advertising, writing, telemarketing, etc.

That’s why these phony marketers set up courses which are usually offered through eBooks, DVDs, CDC, webinars, seminars and even live demonstrations.

Typically, these course providers make tall claims that once you complete their awesomely amazing super course, you’re gonna be on your way to becoming filthy rich.

Some are gonna play it smoothly, sending you irrelevant, useless eBooks or items such as pens, calendars, T-shirts, and other junk in exchange for money.

However, when the info or item is actually delivered, it’s usually a rehash of something already available online.

Most people never get their money back.

They end up with nothing, like those lost, starving souls in 1940s European movies.

That’s why it’s important to research thoroughly so that you don’t become just another number on the international hit list!

2. “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

Another common affiliate marketing scam is a “get rich quick scheme” that offers you visions of earning big bucks without putting in much effort.

There are hundreds of such ads all over the Internet.

The usual modus operandi is that these brutal scammers ask you to enroll with their company for a few hundred dollars.

They’ll convince you that you’re gonna learn the tricks that’ll enable you to make thousands of dollars like a fat cat living in Orange County, California.


Once you send your $200 (or whatever the amount they require), the only thing you’ll end up with is a dent on your back account.

Believe it, bro!

No matter how desperate or poor you happen to be, all quick rich schemes are cons until proven otherwise.

Do you really believe that someone who makes $5,000 working for a few hours on a Saturday would tell you his or her secret?

If you ever hear that someone has a ‘secret’ on how to make money, it’s a scam.

True dat!

3. Fake Product or Service

Generally speaking, in affiliate marketing, marketers make money by promoting products and services from other companies.

Sometimes, though, scammers make up fake services or products by using the name of a famous company.

This is one scam that’s often difficult to spot.


Because scammers can be very thorough and usually go to great lengths to create a portfolio of services, products, and customers that appear to be hyper legit.

They even use fancy infographics and promote their business by using paid phony spokespeople who act as their referees.

A large number of these so-called marketers follow the pyramid scheme. Initially, they’re gonna ask you to pay a small amount of cash to join the program with the promise that within a week or two, you’ll receive a high rate of return on your investment.

This is just a ploy to lure you into the trap!

In this entire scheme, the only beneficiaries are the scammers and this can go on until the entire thing falls apart.

On many occasions, these scammers get away with your money and disappear before people even figure out what’s going on.

Beware! You don’t wanna fall down from a pyramid scheme! People say it really hurts!

4. Paid Memberships/Programs

Another very common affiliate marketing scam is asking people to join a program or pay for membership.

In reality, the majority of bona fide affiliate programs are free to join and there’s no fee, just like on Mobidea.

The very fact that somebody asks you to pay to join an affiliate marketing program should raise a red flag.

Most of these pay-to-join programs are nothing more than another pyramid scheme.

Learn More: Best Ad Spy Tools You Should Be Using

If you’re seriously looking for an affiliate marketing program, you should research for a while and make sure the people associated with the network are legitimate and have actual clients.

Don’t sign any papers or cheques before ensuring you’re dealing with authentic companies!

Nothing is more painful than joining a scammy affiliate network and realizing that, instead of making money, you’re digging your own cold grave!


There are other similar deceptions such as domain name scams where you receive an email informing you that somebody is trying to register your website in China and if you want to ensure nobody uses your trademark, you have to pay a certain amount, bla, bla, bla.

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There are others that follow an upsell strategy, promising to sell one item for the price of one where the second item is of shoddy, poor quality or both items are just useless.

Some sell email lists while others come up with similar fraudulent schemes.

How do you avoid affiliate marketing scams?

You go slow. You try to be as cautious as humanly possible.

That means doing some groundwork.

Don’t be in a rush to become a millionaire overnight.

Get everything in writing, talk to people, ask around, go online, do that super crucial research, and never send any money online without proper verification.

Today, the Internet also allows people to research most affiliate programs and check the reviews.

If you ever have any sort of doubts or feel iffy about joining a network, back out and get a second opinion.

No matter how appealing an affiliate program sounds, resist the urge to making it big overnight.

In most cases, the only thing you’ll end up with is major disappointment, and a long list of debts that are gonna make you feel like a penniless stockbroker victimized by the crash of 1929!

Wanna ask some questions about these awful Affiliate Marketing Scams?

Go for it!

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