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How to Detect and Prevent Mobile Ad Fraud

Every year billions of dollars are lost to digital ad fraud, draining advertiser budgets and restricting ad performance. Experts estimate that online fraud-related costs will reach 100 billion dollars by 2023, a huge leap from 35 billion in 2018.

As a marketer, it’s important to develop effective prevention strategies that can help you distinguish real clicks from fake ones. In this article, we’ll outline the common types of mobile ad fraud and what you can do to prevent it.

What is Mobile Ad Fraud?

Mobile ad fraud encompasses a series of activities that aim to exploit publishers, advertisers, and supply partners of their advertising budget. It takes place on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and operates on two channels – mobile web browsers and mobile applications.

Here are the common types of mobile ad fraud every marketer should know:

  • Click Spamming: Also known as organics poaching, this tactic involves executing a large number of fake clicks and claiming credit for the misattributions.
  • Click Injection: This is an advanced form of click spamming wherein fraudsters use Android apps to listen to “install broadcasts.” This allows them to gain credit over an install by prompting clicks before a user completes an installation.
  • SDK Spoofing: Also referred to as replay attacks or traffic spoofing, this method involves simulating legitimate installs by using data from real devices.

Common Mobile Ad Fraud Indicators

Below are a few indicators that can help you detect and intercept ad fraud:

Measure the Click to Install Time (CTIT)

Click-to-install time is the average time spent between clicking an ad and prompting an app to open. It’s a very useful tool for detecting fraudsters who are staging fake last clicks.

When using CTIT analysis, keep an eye out for the following indicators:

  • CTITs under 10 seconds – a potential sign of install hijacking
  • CTITs that occur between 24 hours to a week after installation – a potential sign of click flooding

Check New Device Rates

This metric provides insight into the number of devices downloading an advertiser’s app. New installs are normal, however, a sudden spike in new device rates could indicate Device  ID fraud. This is when fraudsters fake installs, simulate in-app engagement, and reset the device ID of a mobile phone or tablet before reinstalling and uninstalling an app again. When this happens, the installation will be registered as a new user.

Leverage Device Sensors

Biometric behavior analytics involves analyzing device sensor data like device usage and typing speed and comparing them to normal trends recorded from real users. It’s an effective way to authenticate genuine users from imposters.

Monitor Conversion Rates

While every marketer aims for an increase in conversion rates, a sudden spike could spell bad news. For this reason, advertisers should measure their projected conversion rates at different stages of the buyer’s journey. This way, they have data that they can use to distinguish fraudulent activities from real conversions.

A Safer and More Secure Way to Advertise

Through Aniview’s video ad-serving platform, you’ll never have to worry about digital fraud again. We’ve teamed up with Fraudlogix to provide advertisers with fraud detection and management solutions that help identify malicious activities online. You’ll be able to spot non-human traffic across all in-banner, out-stream, and in-stream video campaigns.

Be part of the more than 500 million monthly active users that have benefited from Aniview’s ad prevention solutions. Reach out to us now to learn more about our services.