How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams – No More Wasting Time!

With more Make-Money-Online opportunities on the internet, there come more scams. In this post, I wrote my experiences to help you understand how to avoid be scammed.

If you ever purchased scams and could not take your money back, please remember this is not your fault. It’s because you haven’t got good advice from us. For the next time, you will be better. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Disclaimer: As the owner of, I have tracked down special deals for products, tools, and services mentioned herein. When you click my affiliate links on this page to make a purchase, I may get a small commission, and you will definitely get a great bargain. This is a win-win advantage for both of us.

The Common Traps From Online Marketing Scams:

TOP#01 Upsells

If you join a program and find out many upsells after the first purchase, it would be high-possibly a scam. So, before really joining a program, you need to know all the pricing they list out on their website very clearly.

Lots of scams have so many upsells since this is one of the best ways they could fool all the newbies of affiliate marketing, and there are more and more tragedies happened recently.

They usually provide you a few training to make it look like a nice and decent platform. When you take a closer look at their products, you would easily find out the training is lower-quality.

A great affiliate marketing program often takes educating their members with high-quality lessons as the top priority, and the most important part is to teach them to provide value & helpful insights to the target audience!

I am glad I did many google search and joined a program which is amazing, and I would like to share with you HERE!

It shows me what a true program should be and teach me to have the correct mindset of a real affiliate marketing that includes three things: Hard work, persistence, and patience.

TOP#02 Fake Founder Info

The second trap of a scam is that the founder of an affiliate marketing program you are about to join is FAKE!

Think about Steve Jobs of Apple or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook! What will people think the names are FAKE or not even existed? Who will sabotage the trust between the customer and the company by this risk? Yes, all the online SCAMS!

It would lose all the credibility and people won’t give it shot, not to mention to buy the products or services they provide! It’s the same for affiliate marketing programs.

Will you subscribe to a program when you are not able to find the founder profile on all the social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or even Linkedin?

Look what I found the founder of my favorite affiliate marketing platform on Instagram- Kyle & Carson! I believe they give a very good example to be a founder of a legit affiliate marketing company, right?

How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams - The founder of Wealthy Affiliate - Kyle's instagram page.
How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams - The founder of Wealthy Affiliate - Carson's instagram page.

TOP#03 Empty Promises

Do you see the below sentences a lot when you do search affiliate marketing on Google?

-Earn USD$1,000 on the first week of your subscription, and it is simple as that!

-Generate a full-time income in the first month and become ONE of us!

-You only need to pay a little per month and your business will run by autopilot!

Familiar with the above? YES, it’s what they used to lure you to join online scams. So far, I didn’t see any member could make a decent income by joining online scams without doing anything. The only one make profits is the scam creators themselves.

So, I know you are eager to get money online, but please be careful about all the empty promises. You are going to toss your money to the ocean and cannot take it back if you join an affiliate marketing scam.

To be honest, to generate a job-replacing income by your online business(blog or website) is not easy. I could say it’s a bit difficult to achieve this.

It often takes one to two years to build your website and learn the extra skills to master it, and people do usually quit in the first 6 months when they don’t see any positive results in their bank account.

Next time, if you see an affiliate marketing program mentions they could help you make money like USD$1,000 in the first month, you would know it’s no good for your hard-earned money.

TOP#04 Deluxe Pictures

If there are deluxe photos on any affiliate marketing program telling you “Joining us today and make the rest of your life to live in a great mansion with a good car!”, I would say it might not be a legit program.

Instead, the owner of the program might take your money to live in that kind of life. So, be careful.

A true legit program would tell you “Affiliate Marketing is not a make-money-quick scheme, it requires you lots of effort!” My caution lowers down ONLY when I see this kind of honest sentences inside any promotional campaign of a program.

If a product or service is really that good, people would buy it immediately. Why bother to lure your interests by posting deluxe photos?

I hope you could set an alarm in your mind if you see this promotional campaign again when you search for an affiliate program on the Internet.

TOP#05 The Income Results

You must see a lot on the Internet or YouTube videos that people show(more close to brag) the screenshots of their income generated by the affiliate marketing program they joined for six months up to one year.

This always happens when you search for make money online especially!

it might attract the beginners’ interest because they are searching for something that could solve their financial problems, but the experienced marketers behind the programs turn it into tricks to trap you.

The story of anyone who ever did make a huge income by any program is nothing to do with your online business.

What you need to do is not get attached to their success story, but to think about HOW to be like them by a legit program.

Nowadays, it’s not difficult to fake income proof, so that’s the reason why there are more and more people get trapped by many online scams.

A good affiliate marketing should mainly focus on all the good features or all the unique & powerful functions that could help people, right?

How to Avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams - The Income Results

TOP#06 Lack of Training

Sometimes, I look very closely for all the training courses a program offers and cross-check with other similar programs.

If you find out a sign shows this program only has less than 5 video tutorials or a few lessons, you need to calm down and leave it.

It’s quite important for a beginner. You are new to the affiliate marketing industry, and you probably think the ticket should higher just like to enrollment fee of a college.

But, I have to tell you it’s not always TRUE! You still could find a nice and decent program that only costs you $1 a day for all the great services they provide by their membership.

You are more than welcome to check my honest review on this amazing platform I am using right now, and it’s something that I cannot skip doing every day.

TOP#07 Pyramid Scheme

Yeah, number seven is “Pyramid Scheme“! It’s a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.

A program that needs you to recruit members!

I heard this a lot from my parents since they were asked to join a pyramid scheme by many friends of theirs, and I am glad they didn’t join at last.

A pyramid scheme only educates you to bring more people to the scheme without teaching you how to sell a product or a service.

Many online marketing programs are actually “Pyramid Schemes” in disguise, and be cautious of any pyramid scheme in disguise!

TOP#08 Limited(time) Offer

This is the worst! Imagine what you would do if you look at something are limited availability and will be sold out soon? Like in the winter sales campaign?

It’s hard to resist the feeling, and you end up buying too many things you don’t need, right?

The experienced marketer behind online marketing scams know this better, and they turn this as a promotional campaign to attract you.

You probably see a timer counting down the time left for you to make the final decision, sound familiar?

It doesn’t mean any program or service using the same technique will be a scam. All I am saying here is the scammers use it to boost their sales for their own low-quality programs.

Next time, you might need to consider this one with all the other common traps!

My TOP 3 Tips to Avoid Online Marketing Scams

Finally, here come my top 3 tips to avoid scams, and it works quite well for myself.

This video advises well about how to avoid online scams too, take your time for a watch!

TOP#01 Google it

Yeah, I know cliche! But, people seem not to do it right and thoroughly before jumping into online marketing scams.

Except for all the reviews about any online marketing program, I am interested on page 1 & 2 of Google, I also watch YouTube for the related testimonial videos.

After doing the above, I would go to my favorite leader in the industry or mentor’s website to read for the related articles/posts about it.

Or search for the founder’s name on any social media platforms to see what they look like! Sometimes, you would see his or her scandals or controversies, then you probably would not join the program, right?

If you cannot search for any result for the founder’s name, it would only show you “Leave it now!” It might not be 100% true about this, but it could save you from online marketing scams most of the time!

TOP#02 Avoid No FREE Trials

For any legit online program, they always provide 3-7 day trials and some of them even provide a 30-day trial.

So, if the program you like to join does not provide you trail, you need to be careful.


The free trial gives you a chance to know whether you like their product or not, and it is good proof that the founders are proud of their product and thinking it’s helping people.

NO free trial for me only represents a high possibility that the founder has something hidden and does not want you to know until you pay.

TOP#03 Avoid No Refund Guarantee

Having a refund guarantee does not mean it is a legitimate program, but it is a guarantee that we could get our money back if we don’t like that product!

it’s a game of psychology! Surprisingly, online scams also provide refund policy. They push you to buy for their product then guarantee you could ask for a refund if you find it does not suit you.

And, trust me, not everyone who ever purchased a low-quality program(scam) would request for their money back! Most of the time, a scam still could earn money as long as they could make people buy it in the first place!


Every once a while, people told me he/she got trapped by online scams, I often responded: “Get rid of it ASAP and find another decent one!”

With technology advances, the tricks the scammers use are also developing. I hope by all the above you should at least know one to examine the program you are about to join.

Please be careful for it since you earned every penny from your hard work, do not let others take it easily from your pocket!

I hope you enjoy reading my post about how to avoid Affiliate Marketing Scams. You are more than welcome to share ideas or leave your comments below.

Don’t forget to smile today. Everything gets easier when you smile, even for your affiliate marketing business!


Matt is a 30ish guy who has a corporate job and chases the dream to become a digital nomad with a laptop lifestyle. He is passionate about making money online and will keep creating quality content to find his online success.

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