CJ Affiliate 7115795 claiming commission on organic traffic to Gap

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Adware, Affiliate Fraud, Cookie-Stuffing

Co-authored with Ben Edelman

On a computer running Zango adware, our crawler browses the oldnavy.gap.com site.  Zango sees this traffic and opens a window to surveysclick.com (packet trace).  Surveysclick.com returns tricky redirects and eventually does a POST through to a CJ click link with publisher ID 7115795, then on to Gap.  As shown in the screenshot, the user ends up with two Gap windows — the underlying window where the user had begun, and a second window opened by Zango adware.

affiliate fraud
If a user subsequently makes a purchase from either window, then CJ and Gap records will credit affiliate 7115795 with purportedly causing that purchase.  But in fact the user was already at the Gap site before the Zango adware and this affiliate 7115795 intervened.  They did nothing to cause or encourage the user’s purchase, and in fact they affirmatively interfered with the purchase by interrupting the user with a popup.  Any payments to this affiliate are entirely wasted.

« »

4 Comments

  1. ming
    July 10, 2013

    let me understand, as good affiliate do I lost my commission here?

  2. wesleyb
    July 10, 2013

    Only if you are competing for the same traffic.

  3. Ben Edelman
    July 10, 2013

    Suppose you, a good affiliate, send traffic to Gap. Unbeknownst to you, your user’s computer is infected with Zango adware. So after you refer the user to Gap, Zango pops open this window to the CJ click link with publisher 7115795. Then publisher 7115795 gets commission for your referral — and you get nothing.

    So, in addition to the harm this practice causes for Gap (as noted in the second paragraph of the write-up), this is a rotten deal for legitimate honest publishers.

  4. Philippe
    August 19, 2013

    I´m dying to get the Zango toolbar installed but can´t manage to find a place to download it. I want to check for a client of mine who runs their private affiliate network if they have fraudulent affiliates. Can you guys please direct me on where to download the adwares you´re using to investigate? I have installed a few but they do not drop cookies as they open another browser. Zango is the one I have suspicious about as it seems to be associated with Leadimpact.