Fetch, the mobile strategy and analytics provider has just partnered with Forensiq which provides advertising fraud protection technology. The collaboration means that Forensiq will be analysing Fetch’s mobile app-install campaigns for clients such as Expedia, StubHub and eBay.
According to research from comScore, mobile devices now represent 60% of digital minutes in the UK and 65% in the US. That share could be even higher in Asian markets. This has heavily pushed the mobile advertising market, but fraudsters are never far behind.
Indeed, MobCo found mobile advertising fraud to produce around $1.5bn in losses in 2015 and in-app fraud another $1bn in losses. 12m devices were noted as hijacked by malicious apps and around 40% deemed worthless from fraud and accidents. Another 13% of mobile app traffic was showing a high level of fraud risk.
Mobile advertising fraud 2015
The mobile industry presents a new unique set of challenges due to its fragmented nature across devices, operating systems, media formats etc. Fraudsters aren’t discriminating by OS either – iOS and Android devices are widely affected.
“Where there’s money, there is fraud. Being 100 percent on top of it is an impossibility, but we think with Forensiq’s help we can get it significantly lower.”
He adds that the amount of suspicious media that the company buys is quite large across app-install inventory. As part of the deal, Forensiq will be scanning for automated clicks, installs and click farms, as well as background clicks and incentivised installs.
David Sendroff, CEO and Founder of Forensiq, adds:
“Similar to in the desktop environment, you may have heard of something called ‘cookie-stuffing’, where the clicks are forced in the background of a browser and then if there’s any type of conversion, the affiliate will take the credit for the action. In mobile installs, to fake this type of attribution, there’s a lot of server-to-server tracking where the tracking platform gets pinged and then once the conversion takes place, the tracking platform looks for a device ID to match up the source of the install.”
App-intall ads are based on a Cost-per-Click model that makes advertising fraud a more enticing option. Sendroff says:
“There’s a financial incentive for fraudsters to take their time and code something that’s just printing money, essentially.”
Fetch will be discussing any fraudulent activity that Forensiq finds. Hobbs adds:
“[Fetch will] work with the vendor to come up with a list of publishers that they work with to eradicate being prevalent in this space. This is also making sure that we’re doing what we can collectively to clean up the landscape as much as we possibly can.”