4 Affiliate Marketing Scams & How to Avoid Them

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affiliate marketing scams

I’m going to show you how to earn $397 every single day with just 10-20 minutes of work. How legit do you think that is? That’s more than likely one of the affiliate marketing scams that you need to avoid.

Affiliate marketing. Some say it’s legit, other says that it’s a scam.

So which one is it?

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The first one. But sprinkled on top with a little bit of the second one.


Ok here’s in more basic terms:

Affiliate marketing is a legit and serious way to make money online, however, there are some bullshit scams out there that every affiliate must learn to avoid.

There. Much better explanation right?

Affiliate Marketing Scam Examples

If you want to save yourself a lot of money, and years of misery, you need to watch out for these affiliate scams:

1. Trash Affiliate Marketing eBooks & Courses

There’s a ton of eBooks and courses on the internet that promise people to teach them how to make a living online.

However, the majority of the time, the information found in those scam affiliate products is more than likely rehashed trash.

Meaning that the same shit has been said over and over for 20+ years, and you will learn nothing of value or new.

Pretty much all the information from those trash products can be found online. For free. On Google. On YouTube. On Internet Marketing Forums.

Usually what these “smart” internet marketers would do is go and get a couple of PLR (private label rights) products, and either combine them together or just change the covers and sell it as it is for $37 / $47 / $67, etc…

I’ve bought a ton of those affiliate marketing scam products when I first started out. I won’t name names, but yeah it’s more common than you think.

2. “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

Oh boy, I love these ones.

“Hey look at me, I’m driving in a Ferrari, and parking in front of my luxurious mansion, buy my fricking course and I’ll teach you how to make $597 in your sleep.”

Sounds familiar?

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Those fucking morons sometimes even have the “rented” tags on “their” car’s key.

Oh… and that big luxurious villa? Rented through AirBnB most of the time.

And that dude that’s speaking in front of the camera? Most likely a paid actor from Fiverr.

How nice of them to teach you how to make $3934 a day, with zero experience, in just 20-30 minutes of work.

And all you have to do?

Buy their scam product of course.

It’s genius. Especially when they get other big affiliates in the industry to promote their crap.

But hey…

Who cares about morals and actually teaching people something useful, fuck them, we makin’ money.

Yeah, no. You’re not a real marketer if your source of income is teaching others bullshit methods to make money online promoting scam products.

Sorry… (not really.) You actually wouldn’t believe some of the big names that are doing this shit, it makes me so mad…

If you ever see eBooks, Courses, and other products that promise to show you “secret trick” “hack how to make $xxx a day”, “Loophole technique to make $1436 in your sleep”, they are more than likely affiliate marketing scams and you should run from them like the plague.

The chances of you making $396 or whatever the fuck amount a day, with no experience in just 30 minutes of work is almost ZERO.

It takes time to learn some of this shit, you can’t become good at it overnight. You have to learn how to either:

  • write good content
  • rank in google
  • create ad campaigns (that don’t waste your money)
  • track your data
  • and a ton more.

Can you earn $3843 a day from affiliate marketing though?

Other than the articles on this blog, I rarely write my own content. Why? It's simple: I hate it. That's why I outsource it from places such as Fiverr.

Yes. Absolutely, that’s not the problem here.

The problem is that in order to earn that amount, most of the time you’d have to master a few digital marketing skills and that takes time, failures, and overall experience (sometimes a lot of money too).

3. Pyramid Schemes / No Products to Sell

pyramid schemes

Yeah, let’s just join this fucking totally “legit” looking website that promises us that we’re all going to be rich, by referring other suckers into it.

And then when every one of us has 1000+ referrals down the line, a big fucking ship will appear and it will take all of us to Mars to chill and enjoy the sweet life.

I actually joined one of those when I was a teen, probably 14 or so, it was Bux something… I paid them about $200 or so, to boost to increase my referral numbers.

When I wanted to withdraw the $800+ available in my balance… suddenly there was radio silence.

Hmm.. interesting I thought, maybe the poor guys have a bug with their platform. Let me contact them. So I did. Again. And again. And again. Until finally one day I kinda forgot about it and moved on with my life.

If you see websites that are kinda shady looking with claims that you’re going to be rich if you sign up with them.

And how so many of their members are making tons of money. And you could be their next success story.

Ask yourself this:

What’s. The. Product.

If you don’t clearly see a product or service and you can’t understand just by looking at their website what it is that they are selling or promoting in order to “become rich”, chances are that you are their product, and they are making money out of you.

After that, you’re going to try and find other people to suck them into your affiliate marketing scam pyramid so that you can at least recoup your investment.

Stay away from anything that closely resembles this. I’m not talking about MLM here (although those can be fucking shady as well).

I’m talking about pyramid schemes, that are illegal to run anyway, but yet they are all over the place online.

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4. Paid Affiliate Programs / Memberships

There aren’t. Or… better yet SHOULDN’T, be any affiliate programs that ask you to pay first in order to join them.

But yet here I am writing about this shit because they absolutely exist. Tricking newbies into thinking that if they pay some money upfront to join their magic circle, they will learn all the secrets to the universe while getting fat stacks of cash in return.

So this one is pretty easy to spot, if you see a program asking you for a fee upfront it’s more than likely another affiliate marketing scam that you need to say: “Fuck you, buddy, you’re not getting my money”

How to Avoid Internet Affiliate Marketing Scams

1. Common sense

Well, first of all, the saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t” still applies even to this day… unfortunately.

Keep that in mind. All the time. Especially in this industry.

When you see a product or a course that promises you’re going to get rich overnight, have your own private jet, and a bunch of models around you…

It’s more than likely one of the affiliate marketing scams that you should avoid.

2. Google search it

The next step is to go and do some searches on Google and see what shit comes up when you’re looking up the particular affiliate marketing product or course.

Use these terms:

  • Is “product name” a scam?
  • Is “product name” a ripoff?
  • Is “product name” legit?

But…wait. What you need to know is that some of the results that will show up in Google are sometimes fake too.

What.the.fuck. Stephen, what do you mean?

Well, there are these “smart” affiliate marketers that will create sites and blog posts with titles such as: Is “product name” a scam? Read this before you buy”

Of course, they as affiliates of the main product will tell you that everything is gravy and lovely and awesome and you get fast money, and there are no issues.


It’s all damn lies.

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Occasionally you will find posts like those that are absolutely legit, but they are rare.

So be cautious and read more than just one result, go to the 2nd and 3rd page of Google even 4th if you have to, and check all the articles about it.

3. Research online communities

Forums and especially Reddit are pretty honest when it comes to bullshit affiliate marketing scams.

They will be brutal with most products out there, and for good reason. They are not idiots.

You should also check out some of the forums in the business… careful though, some of those are also swamps full of rehashed crap, so it depends on the forum.

I’d have to say that when it comes to affiliate marketing scams, I’m checking black hat forums as the users are more honest there compared to other I.M. forums.

Read more: Marketing on Reddit

4. Check out reviews

Don’t just trust the testimonials and reviews from a product’s website.

Check out individual reviews on either Facebook, YouTube comments, review sites like Trustpilot, etc.

Anyone can add fake testimonials to their crappy product and service, in fact, there are businesses created just to provide fake hype and testimonials and FOMO (fear of missing out), to lure in new people.

5. Inspect the website

If you don’t see a contact page, privacy, disclaimer, terms, company details, phone number, and other good stuff like that, you should run away, because it’s probably one of the many affiliate marketing scams that are out there in the wild.

Lacking those pages it’s always an immediate red flag to me, and it tells me that either:

  • a. the company isn’t serious enough
  • b. it’s a fucking scam.

Also the layout and design of the website. If it looks like it comes straight from the Flintstones age (1998s dial-up internet), then how good can the product or service really be?

6. Ridiculously high commissions

Most legit affiliate networks and programs will have commission rates somewhere between 5% to 50%.

However, you might not be surprised to find affiliate marketing scams that promise commissions as high as 90% or even 100% lol.

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SUUUUUUUURE. Because that’s totally normal.

Listen… before some of you start crying in the comments. I know. There are some legit affiliate products out there with high commission rates. Especially from legit companies like web hosting services, VPNs, etc.


When it comes to affiliate marketing, make money online, work from home scams… then yeah. A high percentage commission is another red flag for me.

Even a 75% commission like you’d see on most I.M products on Clickbank is a bit fishy, but then again, you shouldn’t really promote “make money online” products from Clickbank in the first place.

Clickbank is a good affiliate network. However, some of the products in this niche are trash and you shouldn’t promote them if you don’t want to get high refund rates.

Affiliate Marketing Scams: Final Words

Honestly, I’m sick and tired of explaining to people that affiliate marketing is legit and that there are just a few bad apples that ruin this shit for the rest of us.

There are a ton of legit ways to do affiliate marketing, without falling for affiliate marketing scams.

Here… check out some guides on how to do this properly:

These are free to read. No excuses on your part. If you get scammed into paying for free information, then it’s your problem man.

Alright, rant over.

Until next time, stay hustlin’


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