The affiliate marketing world is a tricky place. You’ll often hear salespeople pitching you on all sorts of products – many of which are scams. Knowing how to tell the difference is essential in order to not get tricked. That’s why I’ve gone ahead and compiled this detailed list containing 30 red flags that will help you recognise a scam when you see one.

No Income Potential

The first thing you’ll want to do if you see an ad or a blog post talking about how to make money online is to do some research into the company. Does the blog article mention any competitors? How many sites does the company own or control? Who are the main affiliates promoting the product?

If you can’t find the answers to any of these questions, then there’s probably no real opportunity here. While it is possible to make money online – and there are legitimate ways to do it – without a doubt, the majority of these products will get you no where. The fact that they’re so easy to promote indicates there’s probably no real money to be made.


This one may seem obvious yet people will still get scammed by overly hyped products. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with hype per se – it’s when you hype a product beyond reason that it becomes a problem. For example, you may hear about the ClickFunnels pitch where they say the average person can make up to $5,000 per month or more. Let’s put that into perspective – it’s quite a bit of money when you consider that you’re going to have to fork out an upfront fee of $5,000 just to get started (plus there’s the cost of the product itself which is probably around $500).

When you look at the product itself, it’s definitely not a bad deal – except that money back guarantees don’t exist in affiliate marketing. If you’re looking to make a quick buck, then sure, there are some legitimate products here that you can buy and promote. But if you have a bit of an investment itch, then stay away from these products because you’re probably going to end up losing money. Hype is one of the biggest scammers of all time.

No Proof Of Profits

Another red flag that will help you spot a scam is the lack of any proof of profits. Now, I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’. That’s exactly what this statement is about – you can’t judge a scam by its first impression.

It’s the classic ‘salesmanship’ technique where the scammer will tell you everything is going perfectly fine, but at the end when you try to get proof that the company is actually making money, they’ll tell you it’s not possible to generate profits in a short amount of time. So, they’ll ask you to stay invested in the scheme. Remember: always look for a company that is willing to show you proof of profits – it’s a sign of a scammer that won’t put in writing what they say.

No Ability To Advertise Or Promote The Product

Often times, you’ll hear scammers talk about how they’re unable to advertise or promote the product. Again, this may seem obvious yet there are a lot of people out there who think they can get away with it. Why? Because a lot of the time, the product doesn’t exist yet; or they’ve had so much bad experience with the product that they’re scared to even try it. This is why it’s important to do your research about the company – see if they have any ads or if there are any mentions of the product on social media.

If you can’t find any evidence of their ability to advertise or promote the product, then that’s probably a big red flag. Keep in mind – it’s not always easy to find evidence of a scam. Especially when the scammers are doing their best to hide their tracks. So, if you can’t find any mentions of the product on social media or in the media, then ask the seller directly through Email – if they can’t give you proof that they can promote the product, then there’s probably no point in listening to their pleas for help. And remember, never, ever give out your personal information to anyone – even if it’s a legitimate company. Believe it or not, there are people out there who want to steal your identity and take your money. So, always be careful who you give out your personal information to.

Not All Of The Above

There are some products on this list that don’t necessarily need to be red flagged – it depends on your situation. For example, if you’re looking to make a quick buck, then take a look at this product (the Funnel Cake). Although it’s not on the above list, it’s important to understand it’s a problem because people can get fooled by the hype surrounding this product – mostly, women are affected. What is the Funnel Cake?

Well, it’s a cake that you buy and eat while listening to calming, motivational speeches. So, in essence, it’s a perfect ‘work-from-home’ product. It doesn’t require any special skills, you just have to show up to two or three speeches per week – the rest is up to you. Obviously, there’s no real evidence of profits here, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to make money online, then this could be a good fit.

The Bottom Line

Although it’s not always easy to spot a scam, if you do your research and are aware of the warning signs, then it’s well within your power to avoid becoming an affiliate marketer yourself – or at least, minimize the chances of getting scammed. Thanks for reading! I hope this article helped you in some way. If you have any questions or thoughts about anything mentioned in the article, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. And as always, if you found this article valuable, then please share it with your friends and family – they’ll thank you for it.