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8 types of mobile ad fraud


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Learn how you can recognise some of the most well-known types of mobile ad fraud or how to avoid it.

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8 types of mobile ad fraud

  1. 1. 8 TYPES OF MOBILE FRAUD T H E D I R T Y F W O R D By Omri Dayan
  2. 2. “ Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain! In our world, fraud is typically done by creating fake ad traffic, launching ads outside of a user’s view, or creating several ingenious tools and mechanisms in order to deceive advertisers as well as monetise on it.
  3. 3. LOSSES IN THE INDUST RY Estimated cost of digital ad fraud worldwide in 2018 and 2022 Juniper Research: Ad Fraud to Cost Advertisers $19 billion in 2018, 9% of Total Digital Advertising Spend 2018 $19B 2022 $44B
  4. 4. POPULAR TOOLS TO COMMI T F R AUD - B OTS • Click farms are physical locations full of real mobile devices used to perpetrate mobile click fraud. • Drain display-based marketing campaigns (impressions). • Also known as Bots, these are small programs usually hosted in unsuspecting users computers that can perform various activities on the web.
  5. 5. POPUL AR TOOLS TO COMMI T F R AUD - R EDIREC TS • Click redirection is a type of click fraud common to the mobile web and app. • Publishers run a script on an ad that automatically redirects to a third party landing page or an app store.
  6. 6. POPULAR TOOLS TO COMMI T F R AUD - INC ENTIVE •A malicious activity, more than actual fraud. •Happens in-app. •Incentivized campaigns work while showing ads to gain an app-related reward and not because they’re interested in the content. •Media Spend can be exhausted and not yield quality users.
  7. 7. 8 C OMMON T Y P E S 
  8. 8. FRAUD 1: GHOST SI TES • These are websites with real content, usually stolen from other legitimate websites. • The sites’ only purpose is to defraud advertisers. • The site owners will create these sites and make them available through networks and exchanges. • Afterwards, bots are directed to the site, which in turn generates impressions and are then purchased by advertisers.
  9. 9. FRAUD 2: AD STA CKING •Multiple ads are stacked on top of one another, with only the top ad visible to the viewer. •While only one ad is visible, the impression counts for each served ad, even the hidden ads underneath the stack. •This is another publisher/network specific trick to defraud advertisers.
  10. 10. FRAUD 3: IFRAME - 1x1 PI X ELS •Takes place when a 1x1 pixel –invisible to the human eye– is placed on a site, usually done with an ad. •These pixels can end up loading an entirely different site. •The site that loads out of view of the user on a 1x1 pixel contains advertising – none of which is ever seen by a user. •This method of fraud can be used to simulate false ad impressions or hides cookies in order to falsely attribute a potential purchase or conversion.
  11. 11. FRAUD 4: DOMAIN SP OOFING ADS = Authorized Digital Sellers Publishers pretending to be someone they’re not in order to sell their inventory Domain spoofing, works in both by using malware installed on a user’s computer or by changing the URL in an ad tag. These methods trick ad exchanges and other programmatic platforms into thinking that the user is visiting a legitimate site. But actually the ad will actually appear on a different, usually illegitimate site or displayed on a page in a hidden tab.
  12. 12. FRAUD 5: CLICK SPAMMING / FL OODING Networks send a vast amount of fraudulent click reports in order to deliver the last CLICK prior to an install.
  13. 13. FRAUD 6: CLICK HIG HJ AC KING •Works by sending fraudulent click reports moments AFTER a real click happens. •This malware is usually hidden in legitimate and working apps. •When a legitimate click is detected, the malware sends a false click (call) from a competing network in order to HIGHJACK the click and attribution of a potential install.
  14. 14. FRAUD 7: CLICK INJEC TION •Click injection is a type of install hijacking. •Malware installed on a device identifies when an install begins and sends a false click or call during the install process. •Like click hijacking, this malware is often hidden in apps that appear to be completely legitimate.
  15. 15. FRAUD 8: SDK SP OOF ING •Bot-based fraud. •Malware hidden on another or the same app, In SDK Spoofing, fraudsters add a specific code onto an app that then sends a simulated or fictitious click, install and engagement (events) to an MMP. •When successful, these bots trick the advertiser into paying for installs, events or purchases that never happened.
  16. 16. EVEN THE BIG ONE S FA LL FOR I T Uber said the agency was “running a wild west of online advertising fraud,” and claimed credit for app downloads that happened without customers clicking on ads. (CNBC ARTICLE)
  17. 17. A D SECURITY AND VER IF IC ATION T OOL S The emergence of new ad formats and channels, like video or mobile, are today’s new breeding grounds for fraud. Companies like The Media Trust and GeoEdge were created to prevent malicious activity coming from fraudulent networks. These companies created tools to scan ad campaigns several times per minute in order to help advertisers and publishers detect and avoid fraud.
  18. 18. G E T I N T O U C H ● ●