Today, mobile ad fraud represents one of the most pervasive issues in the mobile marketing space. The amount of global advertising revenue wasted on fraudulent traffic will reach $16.4 billion by the end of 2017.
This data underscores two different trends: first – a mobile ad fraud is spreading and second – it’s expected to do so even more especially because it becomes more sophisticated. To counter this, the industry needs an alignment between marketers and partners. Until now, ad fraud has been conceived as the advertisers’ problem when it really affects the overall industry.
Mobile ad fraud is defined as the practice of deceiving advertisers by serving ads that don’t involve genuine users, consisting of low quality (or fake) clicks or installs. In other words, it happens when an individual scams advertisers, publishers or supply partners by exploiting mobile advertising technology to steal advertising budgets.
As of now, two main types of ad fraud can be identified: attribution and instal fraud. Attribution fraud involves actions that exploit the weaknesses of tracking models to claim installs that should instead be attributed to another publisher. Install fraud, on the other hand, is defined as scamming actions that involve creating fake users and fake installs to defraud advertisers to make them pay for installs that actually never happened.
Identifying mobile fraud can be quite challenging, since there are always new ways to exploit the system. But detecting and preventing known practices is possible: joint efforts and a shared perspective can be a relevant starting point for defeating it.
Today, the core challenge remains with how to identify and counter fraud promptly and effectively. Solutions are out there, but they require the full cooperation between marketers and partners.
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