Fraud Prevention Installation and Usage

How to Install and Use the Fraud Prevention Addon for AffiliateWP

Affiliate fraud cuts into your bottom line. AffiliateWP’s Fraud Prevention pro addon is here to help with that by maximizing your return on investment by flagging suspicious affiliate activity. This add-on adds three new ways to implement fraud prevention in addition to existing features already in the AffiliateWP core plugin.

In this article, we’ll show you how to install and set up the Fraud Prevention add-on for AffiliateWP.

  1. Installing the Fraud Prevention Addon
  2. Using Fraud Prevention

1. Installing the Fraud Prevention Addon

Before we get started, be sure to install and activate AffiliateWP on your WordPress site.

Once you’ve got AffiliateWP installed and your license is verified, you’ll be able to quickly install and activate the Fraud Prevention addon.

That’s it! Affiliate Managers or Administrators can now implement and monitor their Fraud Prevention features.

2. Using Fraud Prevention

Once activated, you’ll have a new Anti-Fraud settings tab in AffiliateWP » Settings. This is how the settings page will appear after the initial installation:

This is how the settings page will appear if you already have the Allow Own Referrals add-on active:

There are three fraud prevention features:

With these features you can choose to allow, flag, and in some cases reject referrals/visits from your affiliates depending on the criteria. The addition of being able to flag a referral gives you the ability to see in a quick glance any referrals that you may want to review for fraudulent activity. Even when flagged, these referrals will still be eligible to be paid out to the affiliate.

  1. Self-Referrals – determines if an affiliate can earn a referral commission on their purchases using their own affiliate links or coupon codes.
    • Allow – Self-referrals are allowed. This is equivalent to having the Allow Own Referrals addon active. If the Allow Own Referrals addon is active, it will automatically enable this option (noted in second screenshot above) and you’ll have to deactivate it to select another option.
    • Flag – Self-referrals are allowed but the referrals will be flagged as potentially fraudulent.
    • Reject – Self-referrals are not allowed. This is equivalent to how AffiliateWP functions on its own, so this will be selected by default.
  2. Referring Sites – The referring site is checked against the affiliate’s website URL from their initial affiliate registration.

    Use caution here since many times the referring URL is not populated based on the external site’s link format possibly containing the noreferrer attribute.

    • Allow – Affiliates can generate a visit entry (and thus referral) from any click from any referring site URL. This will be the default option as it’s how AffiliateWP currently works.
    • Flag – Affiliates can generate a visit and referral, but the visit and referral will be flagged as potentially fraudulent.
    • Reject – Visits will not be recorded, meaning referrals will not be generated, since the domain does not match the URL listed in the affiliate’s registration details.
  3. Conversion Rate – This will check if an affiliate’s conversion rate (referrals-to-visits ratio) is within the defined limits. The affiliate must have at least 10 referrals before this is detected. The default limits are 2% to 20% which can be adjusted in the settings.
    • Allow – The affiliate will be able to generate a referral regardless of their conversion rate. This will be the default option since it’s how AffiliateWP currently works, and as such won’t disrupt your site immediately after activation.
    • Flag – The visits and referrals will be flagged if the affiliate’s conversion rate was outside of the defined limits when the visit or referral was created. 

      Additionally, two input fields will show when Flag is selected where you can specify a Minimum and Maximum Conversion Rate:
fraud prevention conversion rate minimum and maximum settings displayed when Flag option is chosen

Example of a flagged referral:

example of a referral shown as flagged with red flag icon and shading

Hovering over the flag icon will display a message as to which fraud prevention setting was triggered:

message displayed when hovering over the flag icon

That’s it! You now have additional fraud prevention settings enabled for your affiliate program.