Affiliate marketing at its core is all about pushing the sale and making commissions. This has lead to some people using shady practices in order to push that sale. Just last year many sites known as flogs, fake blogs where created to look like news feeds and airbrushed images to make the product look much better then what it really is. This is when the FTC stepped in and fined many of these misleading business practices and sent a clear message that this type of misleading affiliate marketing would not be tolerated.
There is also a black market for credit card data. All merchants are required to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) however those outside of the United States do not have to follow these guidelines. Be sure when your ordering you are ordering from a secure merchant account that is trusted and not some fly by night or directly billing to the website. If a company were to ever go belly up that holds your information it can easily be accessed and given away.
So what can you do and merchants do to combat this dark side of affiliate marketing?
The first thing anyone needs to realize is if it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is. Feel free to question and ask questions about a product or service before you buy it. Also make sure it has some type of safety net like a money back guarantee. Also be sure you know the merchant service you are using. There are many new ones popping up all the time and some called e wallets that are not very secure and could close at any moment. E wallet systems can be a good means to fund your accounts and use however do a little research on the company that is providing this service before you go adding your bank account and other information to it.