I decided to share some knowledge, which is really important and urgent for you, because you can start looking for evidence for cheating immediately. This article is more for the advanced publishers, because the beginners still have other questions to answer, like which shortener is the best, how to find legit one etc.
Now, on the issue… Did you noticed that some shorteners pay you less than the others, even though their rates are better? Did you noticed that some shorteners count more visitors than others, even though your daily traffic is almost the same every day? Did you noticed that some of them pay you a little less than the others or just cut 20% or 30% of what you withdrawn? Did you noticed that you lose a lot of visitors after the ad pages of the shorteners? Did you noticed a withdraw not made by you? Did you noticed that your crypto address or your email for the payment processor are not the ones you set in your payment details ? How about those who always pay you later and later and later than they should, according to their payment schedule? Did you see an error page when you go to the withdraw page to ask for payment or you don’t see the withdraw button? How about those who change their rules every day? Well, there is an explanation for that, so keep reading!
As you can see there are various ways for the shortener owners to cheat you, but you can categorize them in few general ways – cheating in the counting of your visitors, in the paying, in the rules or terms to work with them.
CHEATING IN THE COUNTING OF YOUR VISITORS!
Most shorteners use that kind of cheat, because they can excuse with bot or fake traffic, but that is not the issue. They announce that they pay for some countries more and for all others usually they have a fixed rate. Now what happens in most cases is that they don't count some of those countries. At the end you end up with average counted 50% to 70% of the total amount of visitors you sent. Your loss of 30% to 50% is, because of the fact that the shortener doesn't count specific countries even tho they should be counted and earnings accounted. The owner, however, exclude them, because he doesn't earn enough to pay you according to the announced rate. In most cases the excluded countries should be counted with the Worldwide deal, but that doesn't happen. It is super easy to notice the cheat, but not easy to notice which country is excluded from the counter. In order to catch the country you need to test each country, which will take a lot of time and is useless.
CHEATING IN THE PAYING!
Well, that cheat is annoying! The shortener announce some rates per 1000 visitors for some countries, but it is not true. The rates are fake, the owner say he pay you $20 per 1000 visitors or $0.02 for every single visitor from USA, but he actually pays you $10 for 1000 or $0.01 for a single visitor.
Other cheat comes when you request a payment. In some cases your payment is getting cancelled after a week of waiting and then you get a mail, or the owner makes announcement in the dashboard, that his account is blocked or limited for some reasons. He also ask you to request the money via other payment processor. Now, because most of the publishers don’t have other processor they consider this as a loss without spending too much time on it. They also don’t want to make account to other processor. Now comes the worse part, if you do spend time to make account to other processor, spend time to verify it and again make a payment request and again waste time to wait the payment to come. The payment request gets cancelled again, but the reason for that is the same or other. It is a rabbit hole!
Other way to be cheated is when you make payment request and when you get back to the withdraw page you notice that the payment is done to other Paypal account or email which is not provided by you. Yep, the owner of the website controls the database of the website and can manipulate it. In that case he puts other account which is not yours, but his and he make the transaction to that account. When you notice that and ask for explanation, the owner tells you that your account was hacked and he didn’t know that, because at his end everything looked great. Well, NO, even tho there is a chance your account to be compromised, in most cases that is a cheat from the shortener. To avoid that cheat always make a screenshot of your withdrawals and save them in save place!
Another cheat is when you get paid less than you have requested. It is OK to expect the fee of Paypal or any payment processor, including the miner fee for bitcoin transaction. However, I talk about the case where you get way less than that. When you contact the admin to ask him what happened usually he tells you that he must pay bigger fee to convert his national currency to USD or BTC, which is on you, but you didn’t knew that. Well it is sick if that is not true, but the admin use it as excuse. That really hurts! Calculate your earnings with other shorteners and if you receive more, go there, but if you get less compare to the cheating shortener after the fees plus the “hidden fees”, then you can continue working with the cheater.
And last but not least, the cheat with the late payments. Oh f**k that, that’s the worse cheat. You always get paid later and later and later, however you still trust the owner, because you are getting paid. At the end you have a payments not paid for 2 months and you ask what is happening. Well, the owner is broke, this is what is happening. He never had enough money to pay all publishers. He were paying only to those which he was able to and the rest wait his next income. Because his payment requests are increasing, but not as his income, the waiting time is getting bigger and bigger and then BOOM. My advice is, start changing the shortener, if the wait time is increasing more than usual. That is the early evidence that the shortener will run out of money.
CHEATING IN THE RULES OR TERMS!
You start working on a shortener with one rules, but they change them right after you ask for payment. Then they don't pay you, because you broke the rules. You must take a screenshot of the rules, to catch that cheat, because usually they are a lot and you can't remember them all. If you save the rules before you start working on the shortener, you will catch that cheat and avoid further problems with that owner. Usually if he cheat you once he will do it again.
Basically these are the most common cheats, but there are others, not included in this article. I will try to maintain the article updated, as soon as I notice or remember some other cheats. Try to protect yourself from those cheats, that is why I wrote this article. I also fully understand that some admins will use those cheats more after reading the article, however I prefer to explain them and share the knowledge. I think that if you are a serious and professional publishers you should spend some time on articles like this to stay protected. Read and stay save, good luck!