The internet is full of affiliate marketing scams disguising themselves as legitimate online marketing opportunities. These scams are devised to generate wealth for their creators without adding value to their customers or associates.
What are the signals then, which reveal an online scam trying to masquerade itself as a real affiliate marketing business? The following are six strong warning signs that a program should be avoided or analyzed:
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number One: No Product or Service
If the opportunity to generate income is the only product, then this is probably a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States.
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number Two: No Website
A legitimate online affiliate program will have a detailed website explaining the program. A website does not guarantee that an affiliate program is illegitimate. However, you should be highly skeptical of an affiliate program with no website.
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number Three: No Affiliate Contact Support
It is a good sign if an affiliate program has a toll-free phone number. However, the absence of a phone number does not mean you are looking at an online affiliate program scam. If the website does not have an email or contact form, then you are probably looking at an affiliate internet marketing scam. If the website does include an email or contact from, send a basic question. If you do not hear a response from the company answering your question within a few days, then be weary.
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number Four: No Track Record
A great affiliate program is going to stick around for a while. Resist being persuaded by marketing hype that tempts you into a brand new business opportunity. However, by all means take up a program that you feel comfortable about and does not set off any of these warning signs. If you are still unsure if a program is genuine, then wait six months. By that time, reliable affiliate opportunities with quality, high-demand products will still be around with a lot of money still to be earned. While, the majority of the affiliate marketing scams will have disappeared.
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number Five: No Free Affiliate Participation
You are not looking at an affiliate program if you have to pay a company to sell their product and make more money for them. Rather, you are looking at an example of multi-level marketing or MLM. Not all multi-level marketing opportunities are scams. Real internet affiliate marketing programs are free to join and participate in.
Affiliate Marketing Scam Warning Sign Number Six: No Positive Testimonials
Spend some time online looking for individuals who have had some experience with your program. You should be able to find some positive experiences and success stories, unless a program is brand new. Do not rely solely on the testimonials a company provides on their website. Use your favorite search engine and search the name of the affiliate marketing program, followed by the word "scam", "testimonials", "review" or "experience". Do not straight away flag an opportunity for a bit of negativity. Because even high quality programs will have some negative reviews from individuals, frustrated the program "did not work" for them.