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Fraud Prevention Measures All Affiliate Managers Need To Know!

As affiliate marketing grows more and more important for Advertisers to leverage their consumer reach, traffic fraud poses a constant threat when trying to scale. Recent stats predict that sometimes as high as 45% of all affiliate traffic coming into a brand’s website is deemed to be potentially fraudulent. 

Fraudulent affiliate activities cheat your business and legitimate affiliates out of valid earned commissions and cost marketing programs billions of dollars as they deploy increasingly sophisticated tactics to work the loopholes in affiliate program tracking and compensation validation processes. 

Staying one step ahead is crucial for protecting your revenue streams, safeguarding your program’s reputation and saving time and money to filter and fix when fraudulent sales occur. 

This guide explores the cutting-edge fraud prevention measures available in the market allowing you to combat fraudsters and maintain a competitive edge as your program scales.

What is traffic fraud?

Traffic fraud involves generating fake traffic to online landing pages, inflating the number of views, clicks, or conversions. This not only skews performance metrics but also drains marketing budgets and damages reputations. 

The most common forms of traffic fraud include:

  • Click Fraud: Automated bots or low-quality sources generate fake clicks on ads.
  • Impression Fraud: Fake impressions are created to inflate ad view counts.
  • Lead Fraud: Fraudulent leads are submitted, often using fake or stolen information.
  • Affiliate Fraud: Affiliates generate fake traffic or conversions to earn commissions dishonestly.


What should I look for in Fraud prevention tools?

Fraud prevention tools can help you mitigate incoming fraud in your affiliate program – but often you’ll need to test a few before discovering which one’s provide the most accurate results for your program. 

You’ll want to make sure that the fraud tools you engage with can harness the power of advanced machine learning algorithms and have access to and utilise big data analytics to identify and neutralize even the most intricate of incoming fraud traffic patterns. 

Not all fraud detection tools are the same!

You’ll want to look at the companies that have been TAG certified

TAG is a  leading global initiative fighting criminal activity and increasing trust in the digital advertising industry.  It is the first and only Information Sharing and Analysis Organisation (ISAO) for the digital advertising industry. TAG was created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and works collaboratively with companies throughout the digital ad supply chain.

Here are some of the key features you want to look out for when deciding what platform to use for your affiliate program fraud detection and prevention measurement. The important thing to remember is that you’ll want to partner with a business that you can trust, who understands the impact and effect of managing large volumes of incoming traffic and affiliate fraud and that has a robust infrastructure to support your program at scale. 

You can use this as a mini checklist when identifying fraud detection platforms to work with:

  • Comprehensive threat monitoring: Does the platform continuously scan for anomalies across billions of data points, ensuring real-time detection of emerging fraud tactics?


  • Levels of accuracy + Multilayered fraud profiling: Make sure that the tool you engage has the capability to analyse user behaviour, monitor traffic by multiple devices, fingerprints, traffic source types, and a myriad of other signals to build robust fraud profiles, minimising false positives. False positives can be detrimental to your program growth if declines are happening based on inaccurate false positive fraud identifiers.  In some cases this could be 15% or more which means you’re missing out on good opportunities because of false fraud detection methods and ultimately, this will cost you time and impact your revenues in the long run! 


  • Adaptive threat response: Does the tool have the ability to implement self-learning models dynamically and adjust to evolving fraud trends, ensuring your program’s defenses remain constantly secure against the latest attack methods?


  • Unmatched scalability: Can the platform’s cloud-native architecture scale seamlessly, providing enterprise-grade fraud protection for businesses of any size? Can it grow as you grow? 


  • API capabilities: Having a lightning-fast API allows you to integrate the fraud tool you select with your existing toolset, which in turn makes your processes so much more effective.


  • Customisable alerts: It may be important for your team to be able to set up alerts based on your use cases and requirements to make sure that you’re immediately made aware of any suspicious activity as it happens.


These are just a few of the considerations that you may want to look at when choosing a fraud detection tool or service provider to stamp out traffic and affiliate fraud before it ever reaches your business or service teams.


Staying ahead of traffic fraud – use these 6 actionable steps to mitigate fraud in your affiliate program.

While there are many fraud detection systems available in the marketplace, one of the tools most used by brands like QuinnStreet, Smart Financial and MGID, to name a few, is We asked their CEO Rich Kahn, to give his essential tips to stay ahead of traffic fraud. 

Here’s a list of actionable steps he shared: 

  1. Diversify your traffic sources: Overreliance on a single traffic source increases your vulnerability. Diversifying your channels by working with a range of affiliates who drive traffic from a range of channels mitigates risk and maintains a stable flow of quality traffic.


  1. Check your affiliates thoroughly: Make sure that you vet all affiliates and partners before you let them on to the program. Conduct due diligence on their traffic sources, historical performance, and industry reputation.


  1. Monitor affiliate performance: Regularly review affiliate performance metrics, such as conversion rates, bounce rates, and average order values. Sudden deviations could signal fraudulent activity.


  1. Leverage anti-fraud tools: Integrate advanced fraud prevention tools like Anura into your affiliate program to detect and block fraudulent traffic in real time.


  1. Foster transparent communication: Maintain open lines of communication with your affiliates and partners. Encourage them to report suspicious activity and collaborate in combating fraud.


  1. Stay updated on fraud trends: The truth is – fraudsters are constantly evolving their tactics. Stay informed about the latest fraud trends that might be pertinent to your industry and proactively adapt your strategies to keep ahead of them.

Get a Free Trial

Fraud is something we all have to live with when investing in growing our online marketing, but with the right tools and preventative tips in place it can be effectively managed and even stamped out. If you’re struggling to manage fraud right now all our readers can access a FREE TRIAL of Anura’s platform to test what percentage of traffic might be fraudulent in your affiliate program.


Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. The commissions earned help support our website development and content production helping you to keep learning more about Affiliate Marketing and Program Management.  We only promote products or services that we have personally used or believe will add value to our audience. Our reviews and recommendations are based on honest opinions and our own user experiences. Please be aware that by clicking on an affiliate link and making a purchase, you may be redirected to the respective merchant’s website, and they may have their own terms and privacy policies. We encourage you to review those policies before making a purchase. 

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