Benjamin Edelman and Wesley Brandi
Our automation continuously scours the web for rogue affiliates. In our query tool, we provide a basic sense of how much we’ve found. We have also written up scores of sample rogue affiliates, but the holiday season provides an impetus for more: Thanks to high online spending, affiliate fraud at this time of year is particularly profitable for perpetrators — and particularly costly to merchants.
Below, we report the ten Commission Junction affiliates and ten LinkShare affiliates most often seen by our automation. We focus on affiliates whose conduct violates the plain language of networks’ posted terms and conditions, specifically spyware and adware, cookie-stuffing, and typosquatting. Click an affiliate summary for details about the violation, a packet log showing the network traffic that performs the violation, and, for many affiliates, screenshot or video confirmation.
We will update this page from time to time with additions, both as to CJ and LinkShare and as to other affected networks.