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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Avoiding Scams and Questionable Content

As you now know, even something as popular as online poker can come with serious legal strings attached. After you join an affiliate program for something like that, you're at risk of paying the price if things aren't on the up-and-up. Last time we checked, claiming ignorance doesn't get you a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Illegal affiliations

Participation in any illegal affiliate programs is limited by the governing laws of your home state or country. You must know the law and then abide by it. To avoid becoming an outlaw, follow these safety tips:

  • Always read the terms and conditions of the affiliate agreement. Affiliate programs might disclose legal caveats to you in easy-to-find warnings on their sites, but more than likely you can find them in the fine print. Read agreements carefully to determine your potential liabilities for participating.
  • Look for clues to the country of origin. Affiliate programs that are run from foreign countries, or without a U.S. base of operations, may be a sign that the activity isn't permitted stateside. Or, when you sign up for an affiliate program, you may be asked to enter your country of origin. After doing so, watch for a message or special instruction that serves as a disclaimer about doing business in particular countries.
  • Conduct a search. Although this tip isn't foolproof, you can start verifying the legitimacy of a program by doing a simple search. Enter in a search engine the name of the company ...

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