Mobile Ad Fraud - More Sophisticated Ways

Current Ad Fraud Statistics paints a clear picture of Mobile Advertising landscape being the top attraction of Fraudsters.

Since Mobile Devices have the most attention span of users, fraudsters are developing different processes to trick Advertisers and steal Ad Spend. In my previous article I wrote about the most common ways Fraudsters are minting Ad Dollars from the Mobile Advertising landscape.

Now, let’s take a look at the more sophisticated ways:

Installation/Activation Fraud: This method of generating Fake Installs is more common than you think. Many 3rd Party  Utility Apps contain malicious software, which is used to generate fake installs in your device. Also there are many crooked organizations that employ groups of people and provide them with mobile phones to manually install applications (click farms).

Attribution Fraud (Click Stuffing): Attribution fraud is a process where fraudsters steal credit for app installs, which aren’t generated by them. They try to capitalize on ‘first click’ or ‘last click’ attribution and also  by reporting fake clicks. The Fraudster gets credited with the attribution before the app’s first launch.

Click Spam and Click Injection: In case of Click Spam, clicks are being executed in the background on the user’s behalf when the user has launched the malicious app. The app allows the fraudster to run clicks in the background, do Ad interactions, impressions and any possible ways of engagement. Same can be generated also using multiple False Device Ids.

Click Injection is a technique where the malicious app that’s already present in your device, listens to ‘install broadcasts’ to detect when an app is about to be installed and attributes the click just before the App installation. In the end the Fraudster gets credited for the installation.

Registration Fraud: After click farms have installed dozens of apps on mobile devices, they go further and register for the same to trick the advertiser of being a real user. This way the advertisers are motivated to run more campaigns. Bots are even sophisticated enough to do the same and act as a legitimate user.

There’s a lot more ways that Fraudsters are using to deceive Advertisers. But this should be in the top of your checklist whilst running campaigns.

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