What is Mobile Ad Fraud and How Can You Prevent It

Mobile Ad Fraud

Last Updated on July 15, 2024 by Team Experts

 Mobile ad fraud has become widely recognized as the biggest threat to mobile marketing, costing advertisers millions in losses every year. Advertisers need to be better informed and take more active steps against fraudulent activity to stop the waste of their campaigns’ budgets and maximize returns on investment. Below is an overview as well as steps to protect your business.

Defining Mobile Ad Fraud

Mobile Ad Fraud is the effort to trick publishers, advertisers, or supply partners through fraud in mobile advertising technology. The goal of the mobile Ad fraudsters is to steal from the advertising allowances. Mobile ad fraud can occur in different ways, such as click spam, fake impressions, and installs. For instance, fraudulent publishers purposing to gain from the wrong impression may flood mobile Ads into one pixel. Alternatively, they may intentionally align an advert incorrectly to gain impressions or views that did not happen. There are various types of mobile Ad fraud: Click Fraud, Device ID rest Fraud, SDK Spoofing, Click Flooding, Bundle ID spoofing, and Ad Stacking.

  • Click Fraud

The main objective of click fraud is to imitate the behavior of the actual mobile user. Therefore, it cheats your system into identifying fraudulent clicks as legitimate. Click injection is a form of click fraud where the swindler uses their downloadable app to detect your mobile phone for installs. After identifying the installation, it produces clicks using the app before using your device.

  • Device ID Rest Fraud

It involves many rests and downloads where every cycle is recognized as an install of your promoted app. The first step is the swindler clicking on your ad and downloading the interrelated app. The fraudsters then create the required activity and reset your device’s ID. Afterward, the fraudster reboots and reinstalls the app.

  • SDK Spoofing

SDK spoofing is a bot-based approach that applies downloadable albeit fraudulent apps. The malicious app installed into a simple app produces clicks and other activities for another app. Such a strategy is the most complex mobile Ad fraud to determine.

  • Click Flooding

In this form of fraud, the swindler’s lookout for the last activity or click before the legitimate installation of your product under promotion. It is achieved by sending numerous amounts of illegitimate clicks. It improves the possibility of having one-click verified for a download. Every click utilizes a particular ID to resemble the actual ID you used to download the promoted app. Click flooding does not necessarily interfere with your mobile device; therefore, it is suitable for iOS and Android gadgets.

  • Ad Stacking

The fraudsters pile up various apps so that the users only view the upper ad of the pile in Ad stacking. As a result, the fraudster illegitimately charges you as the advertiser.

Ways of Preventing Mobile Ad Fraud

Unfortunately, you cannot effectively prevent Ad fraud; however, there are various means of reducing the chances of being targeted. Additionally, you can also understand ways of noticing such fraudulent activities before they occur. It will prevent you from incurring losses resulting from mobile Ad fraud. Below are some ways to prevent fraud, depending on the type.

  • Fake Supply

When it comes to Ad injection and domain poofing, the most effective means of avoiding them are only doing business with verified ad vendors. You can achieve this by including an ads.txt file in your domain.

  • Fake Data

The most effective way of preventing fraudulent activities from fraudsters that utilize fake data is to become rigorous. It is by understanding the meaning of Mobile Ad fraud and the various type discussed above. It would be best if you also carried out a proper investigation before investing in Mobile ads. Additionally, you should also monitor your promotion KPI’s properly to determine any fraudulent activities.

  • Fake Traffic

 It is significant to understand how to deal with pixel stuffing, bots ads stacking, and click farms which are the main methods of mobile Ad fraud. The most effective means of preventing such fraud is to work with companies that specialize in preventing digital fraud, such as White Ops, Fraudlogix, and Pixalate. It will prevent you from wasting your resources and time due to fraud.

Ad fraud occurs when advertisers who purchase ad space are unknowingly tricked into paying for traffic, clicks, and impressions their ads never received. Therefore, it is significant to understand what mobile Ad fraud is, its various forms, and ways of preventing it. It will save you from falling victim to the fraudsters, thus losing money and time.


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Anil is an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable person who is a Technology evangelist. He's always been fascinated at work especially at innovation that causes benefit to the students, working professionals or the companies. Being unique and thinking Innovative is what he loves the most, supporting his thoughts he will be ahead for any change valuing social responsibility with a reprising innovation. His interest in various fields and the urge to explore, led him to find places to put himself to work and design things than just learning. Follow him on LinkedIn

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