Affiliate Marketing Fraud Is Now a $3.4 Billion Problem, New Study Says


CHEQ, the global leader in go-to-market security, today released new data on the extent of fraud in the affiliate marketing industry. In 2020, the cybersecurity firm showed that nearly 10% of traffic from affiliate programs was fake, costing the industry dearly. $1.4 in losses. Two years later, and that number has now nearly doubled to 17%, and as the affiliate marketing industry has grown from $15 billion to end $20 billionthe industry is expected to lose more than $3.4 billion to fraud in 2022.

The data is part of a larger, ongoing study by CHEQ examining fake traffic on more than 50,000 websites, deploying more than 2,000 cybersecurity tests during each site visit to validate its authenticity. The research revealed a wide range of bots and malicious human traffic directed by affiliate partners, including botnets, click farms and automation tools.

“Affiliate marketing has unfortunately become synonymous with fraud and fake traffic,” said Guy Tytunovich, Founder and CEO of CHEQ. “We are seeing click fraud and cookie stuffing schemes, as well as transaction and chargeback fraud, all of which are becoming extremely prevalent in affiliate programs, especially the larger ones,” he said. for follow-up. “It’s no longer a question of ‘do I have fraud’, it’s only a question of how much”.

The data was released in the wake of discussions of bots and fake users on social media, particularly around the shutdown of by Elon Musk Takeover bid for Twitter, due to a dispute over the rate of bot activity on the platform. Earlier this year, PayPal also took a hit, after it admitted discovering 4.5 million fake accounts in its systems.

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