Mobile fraud is a massive problem for advertisers. Mobile traffic can be easily faked using automated ad-buying tools, and advertisers are often left with little recourse when fighting back. With so much money lost due to fraudulent activity, it’s essential to understand why this happens to protect your brand from similar issues in the future. Read on to learn more about mobile ad fraud and how it affects the marketing industry!
What is Ad Fraud?
Ad fraud is an online marketing scam that uses bots and other deceptive means to get people to click on ads. This can be especially problematic because it can lead to advertisers paying for clicks and users being served with irrelevant or fraudulent ads.
Ad fraud often involves using bots, software programs that simulate human behaviour, to create fake user profiles. These bots then visit websites, where they click on advertisements without buying the advertised products; instead, their only goal is to make money for their creators through pay-per-click schemes. In other cases, ad fraud may involve generating fake clicks from real users by tricking them into clicking an advertisement without their knowledge or consent (known as click injection).
Lack of Awareness
Although ad fraud is so prevalent, many advertisers are unaware of its scale and risk factors. This post will outline the most common forms of ad fraud and how it affects brands, publishers and agencies.
According to Juniper Research, the volume of digital advertising services reached $220 billion in 2017 and will grow to more than $300 billion by 2022. It’s no surprise that as digital spending increases, so does fraudulent activity within this space. According to an April 2018 study conducted by the CMO Council on behalf of White Ops (an anti-fraud technology company), worldwide click fraud rates range from 3% – 8%, with an average cost per incident reaching $1 million (or more).
Bots are the most common type of fraudulent traffic.
Bots are the most common fraudulent traffic generated by automated software that simulates human behaviour. At their core, bots can be used to generate impressions and clicks on ads. They can also be used to generate installs and other actions in apps. In rare cases, they may even be used to simulate actual purchases or engagements with real-world products.
The reason why bots have such a bad rap is that their purpose is always the same: generating fraudulent ad revenue for their owner through false impressions and click counts—a practice known as “click farming” because it involves using multiple devices (often hundreds or thousands) running at once to generate these fake interactions with ads.
For example, suppose you click one of these ads without realising it. In that case, that could lead to malware infections or data leaks and cause problems for other apps on your device since these ads tend to open within other applications that are already running at the time. Additionally, these types of advertisements can be annoying or disruptive even when they’re not malicious—for instance, by automatically playing audio when they appear—which could affect how much people enjoy using their phones and computers over time if they experience this kind of advertising frequently enough.
SDK fingerprinting is a method that can be used to detect bot traffic originating from emulators, rooted devices and jailbroken devices. Emulators are created for mobile phones by third parties who seek to emulate the user interface of a mobile application on their computers. Rooted devices are phones whose operating systems have been modified to access system-level commands and features that may not otherwise be available in the default configuration of an operating system. Jailbroken devices are smartphones that have been altered to remove restrictions imposed by their manufacturers or carriers; these modifications often include adding new features unavailable through official channels (such as eliminating pre-installed apps).