In today’s article, I am going to tell you What Is Multi Accounting? so if you want to know about it then keep reading this article. Because I am going to give you complete information about it, so let’s start.
Affiliate marketing is one of the popular marketing strategies in digital spaces, and its online use dates back as far back as 1996. That was when Amazon started its Amazon Associate Program. The development of tracking systems like cookies, digital marketing, and analytics also popularized the strategy.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which third parties promote products or services of a company and receive a commission when the products are sold.
The questions on your mind, however, will be: How did multi-accounting become so prevalent in the affiliate marketing space? Why is the relationship so important and in what ways have internet users made the best or the worst of it?
Today’s article focuses on the same,i.e, “What Is Multi Accounting”. The articles entail each bit of information necessary for you to know.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Is Multi Accounting?
Multi-accounting simply describes the scenario where a single user operates more than one account on an online platform. A basic example of multi-accounting would be for a user to create an account with his details, log out of that account, and then create another.
Technically, the act itself is not illegal, unless another REAL person’s identity is used. It becomes an impersonation. However, many online platforms don’t allow multi-accounting. According to them, it is a direct violation of their terms and conditions.
Most multi-accounting methods are simple tactics that can be taken to extremes with certain sophisticated tools.
- Using a new email address to create multiple accounts from the same IP address and device. This is the most straightforward method of multi-accounting. You do not need to be technically savvy to do it. The earlier example is a perfect example of the method.
This technique can be taken further by using VPNs or anti-detect browsers. The VPN changes the IP address such that it appears that the new account is from a new device.
- Gnome. This is when you open new accounts in other people’s names, usually using personal information from close friends and family.
Sophisticated gamers create new accounts using emulators, virtual machines, and even residential-like IP addresses.
- Use of Randomizers. This involves the use of sophisticated software to evade identification techniques. It can work by misrepresenting a device that might have been used to apply for a loan.
- Using a forged or stolen identity. This multi-accounting method involves using stolen data, fake identities, or IDs forged from original documents as a way to con the platform algorithms into believing they are legitimate new users.
Why do people do multi-accounting?
People conduct multi-accounting for various reasons. Some of these include:
- Circumventing bans and limits
This is one of the most generic reasons why users might create new accounts under a different name. Upon being banned for malpractices or violation of Terms and conditions, users create new accounts with a fresh email address and username.
It is also not uncommon for banned users to utilize a pseudonym in addition to the stated tricks just to avoid identification by the platform’s bots. This is a practice common to social media influencers on Twitter and Instagram when their accounts get suspended or banned.
- Promotional abuse
Also one of the most popular reasons, promotional abuse is particularly prevalent amongst gamers and SaaS product users. Promotional abuse is when customers take advantage of a business’s discount codes, sign-up offers, and other bonuses that platforms deploy to entice their users, especially the new ones.
Since most platforms use usernames and emails as the primary means of identification for their users, it’s easy for users to take advantage of these promos by creating multi-accounts.
- Affiliate fraud
Some services offer referral bonuses when users invite their friends. Some users gather affiliate bonuses by creating multiple accounts. You should note, however, that in recent times, platforms now require additional credentials for identification in order to counter this trick. For instance, phone numbers – in order to counter this trick.
This method is unique to the gambling and gaming industry. It happens when a high-level gamer creates a new account to play against lower-ranked players—higher-ranked players use it to gather points, improve their skills, or both, without risking their main account.
- Fake customer Review
The motive behind this varies. A dishonest business owner can decide to set up multiple accounts to give fake feedback on a product. The aim of this is to improve the reputation of the brand and it can be done using different user names.
On the other hand, fake reviews can be used to give negative feedback on a competitor’s site—consequently defaming them. Big Techs like Google put considerable effort into ensuring that malicious-dishonest reviews are cubbed.
For instance, according to Google, their automated systems analyze over a hundred cues to detect a change in review patterns on a Google My Business (GMB) page.
The fact is, as far as catfish accounts and multi-accounts exist, we’ll continue seeing fake reviews—to either promote or smear brands. Whatever the motive, fake reviews affect the credibility of online ratings.
What businesses are affected?
People who use multi-accounting methods target businesses that offer a sign-up bonus and websites that may ban or blacklist users.
Multi-accounting has the greatest impact on the following industries:
In recent years, eCommerce businesses have had to deal with affiliate fraud and promotional abuse. Users use sign-up bonuses, referral bonuses, and vouchers from multiple accounts repeatedly.
- Online Dating
Within the first six months of 2021, the FBI claimed it received more than 1,800 complaints of online romance scams. Malicious agents often create multiple accounts on social media and online dating sites to scam or spam users. The famous Tinder Swindler, Simon Leviev, comes to mind.
Fraudsters in the travel industry use multiple accounts to write fake reviews, which travelers heavily rely on when booking their vacation. As a result, a single negative review can be devastating for any travel company. It could even come from malicious competitors attempting to harm the reputations of other businesses.
Multi-accounting is also used to create fake bookings to obtain onboarding benefits.
- Gambling and Gaming
In these industries, multi-accounting takes various forms. Gamers use smurfing to improve their tactics without affecting the statistics of their main account. Some players use multiple accounts to bet on different outcomes so they can be sure to make a profit.
While the intentions of these acts appear to be benign and beneficial to users, the platform owners and businesses bear the brunt of the consequences.
- Online Loan platforms
These platforms contend with fraudsters who apply for loans through different accounts. Typically, they get loans and default payments. After which they switch to other accounts to apply for more loans.
How to prevent multi-accounting
Websites stop multi-accounting via a combination of several methods. The methods, alongside security algorithms, form a proactive system that they use to identify users carrying out multi-accounting.
- Browser fingerprinting
A unique identifier, known as a fingerprint, is created for an internet user using their browser and device characteristics. Thus, it becomes quite easy to identify multiple users relying on the same device to log into a website.
- IP analysis
Websites keep a database of known IP addresses (VPN and ISP) and suspicious open ports. Thus, when you connect via one of these blacklisted IPs, your login is flagged.
- Email analysis
Email address parameters such as domain validity, creation date, and link to social media accounts can be analyzed with complex processes to yield bits of information about a user’s identity.
- Phone number analysis
To get a clearer picture of your clients, look out for the country, online presence, and carrier type.
Cookies are small pieces of text information. Websites create cookies to help remember information about users. Basically, it helps your browser remember you. Cookies help to give you a better online experience.
Geolocation helps determine the location of a device. It entails using tools like GPS or IP addresses to determine the location of a connected device. Geolocation can be used for online verification and fraud detection.
How Multi Accounting Affects Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketers manage multiple accounts to multiply their reach and increase profits, especially when they deal with different product categories. As a result, they are able to build authority organically by creating separate accounts for each product.
Other affiliate marketers use multi-accounting by devoting several accounts to the same product. You have more possibilities to capture and recapture the same potential buyers and eventually make sales.
While multi-accounting is a great strategy, the affiliate marketer risks bans and account suspension on online platforms. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon Marketplace are constantly developing sophisticated tools to detect users with multiple accounts. Small inconsistencies in an account’s activities and similarities in profile details across multiple accounts are enough to trigger flags.
Once an account is flagged as suspicious, it is potentially eligible for bans and suspensions. These risks also spill over to other accounts, especially those that have been tagged as similar. The reinstatement of banned accounts is rare. You will have to start building from scratch once your accounts are banned.
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