Fighting affiliate scams with anti-fraud mechanisms and strategies

23rd June 2021 10:28 am GMT

PartnerMatrix CEO Levon Nikoghosyan explains how the company's affiliate marketing software platform can help affiliates and operators steer clear of fraud.

The industry (and company) I work in connects stakeholders from two different business sides: casino operators with iGaming affiliates. And in the six years since we’ve been providing a successful affiliate software solution, I’ve gained the expertise to pinpoint the three things that make or break a business in this industry.

First and foremost, getting a high ROI on affiliate marketing for your casino is guaranteed only by a solid strategy. Then comes the overall brand awareness and good reputation that affiliate channels can nurture. And last but not least, you need to keep the inherent risks in check and steer clear of affiliate marketing frauds.

Unfortunately, frauds and scams in iGaming are more common than one would like. Sometimes, the loss caused by a single scammer can reach stinging amounts of $100,000 or more. It’s easy to check this by taking a look at the casino complaints section of the affiliate portal AskGamblers, which is just one example of the many forums and anti-fraud communities around the internet.

Fortunately, advanced technologies and smart marketing strategies can come to the rescue. They help you minimise the risks and prevent affiliate scams. So does your own knowledge. So, before diving into the tools and strategies that can help you prevent fraud and create a more secure infrastructure for your casino players and affiliates, you need to be aware of the tactics employed in iGaming affiliate scams.

For example, there are various ways in which affiliates can swindle operators. The Cost per Acquisition (CPA) affiliate marketing model is particularly exposed to this. However, some affiliates manage to scam operators even with safer commission models, such as Revenue Share. I’ll get into more details further on.

On the other side, a widespread method through which operators scam affiliates involves decreasing the affiliates’ NGR (net gaming revenue) and depriving them of their well-deserved rewards. The “decrease” can be fabricated in numerous ways: unmapping the player from the affiliate account, adding fake costs over revenues sent to the affiliate system, declining affiliate commission withdrawals invoking false terms and condition, etc.

Anti-fraud tools and mechanisms

To counter the various scamming mechanisms in affiliate marketing, PartnerMatrix has developed an anti-fraud tool able to detect multiple levels of fraud, thus helping operators effectively fight unfair practices.

The levels operate independently from one another, and each is designed to detect a specific type of behaviour. Such behaviours range from simple IP checks (players v affiliate, registered country of the affiliate v actual location, match of different affiliates by IPS) to complex analytics that detect “sure bets”, CPA draining by fake registrations, or traffic from unauthorised resources.

Each level has a certain priority assigned based on the risks it can comprise. And, of course, we’re always updating our anti-fraud tool with the freshest data. The purpose is simple: making sure our system can always catch fraudsters by surprise, no matter how their methods evolve.

Live data stats against scammers

Live data and statistics are also powerful tools to fight scams of affiliate marketers or prevent casinos from manipulating traffic. Affiliate managers can instantly notice any suspicious affiliate traffic and nip any fraudulent activities in the bud.

And I can think of at least one recent example when PartnerMatrix’s real-time data made it possible to detect and act instantly on fraudulent activity. One of our operators noticed a suspicious trend in their traffic: a new player who placed an unusually large bet after a series of smaller ones. After an in-depth behavioural analysis, it came out that the affiliate was trying to place a so-called “safe bet” and get commissions via fraud.

Other tools and approaches to security

Live data and anti-fraud tools take you a long way, but you should spare no security efforts if you seek to maintain healthy partnerships. There are a few tested ways to do so: search for new partners via authorised and secure platforms, communicate clearly in order not to mislead partners, provide a transparent workflow and reports accessible for all sides.

The need for a holistic anti-fraud approach in affiliate marketing has also put PartnerMatrix on the path of offering not just a product but a full-service package. Our advanced anti-fraud tools come together with business consultations that provide insights and give a full overview of the affiliate marketing mechanisms. This is based on a clear understanding that great, lasting results are only possible when great tech products and in-depth industry knowledge work together.

Levon Nikoghosyan is CEO of the PartnerMatrix affiliate marketing software platform dedicated to iGaming operators. A recent focus of the company is aimed at improving security issues and creating a transparent affiliate marketing infrastructure for operators and affiliates alike.

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