4 min read

Advertising Fraud - What It Is and How to Avoid It

Advertising fraud poses a significant threat to companies investing in ads, involving deceptive practices that manipulate metrics or targeting.

Lindsey Cash
Marketing Manager

Table of Contents

Nowadays, advertisements are everywhere, but have you heard of advertising fraud? If you utilize ads for your company’s growth, you should be aware of what may be happening behind the scenes to keep your investments and security safe.

Advertising fraud refers to any illegal or deceptive activity that intentionally misrepresents the performance, reach, or effectiveness of an advertisement. It typically involves manipulating online ad metrics or targeting, either through automated bots or human click farms, to generate fraudulent ad views, clicks, or conversions. This can result in advertisers paying for fraudulent ad impressions, clicks or actions that do not result in any real engagement or sales.

Common examples of advertising fraud include click fraud, where bots or people generate fake clicks on an ad, viewability fraud, where an ad is intentionally placed in a location where it won't be seen, and ad stacking, where multiple ads are placed on top of each other, making it difficult for advertisers to track the real performance of their ads.

Advertising fraud is a serious issue that can harm both advertisers and consumers. Advertisers may waste their marketing budgets on ineffective campaigns, while consumers may be exposed to malicious content or scams. Therefore, it is important for advertisers to take measures to prevent advertising fraud, such as working with reputable ad networks, monitoring ad performance metrics, and using fraud detection and prevention tools.

Here are some tips for avoiding advertising fraud on your own:

  1. Work with reputable ad networks and platforms: Research and choose ad networks and platforms that have a good reputation and a track record of preventing fraud. Read reviews and ratings from other advertisers, and choose networks that have been in business for a while and have established relationships with reputable advertisers.
  2. Monitor ad performance metrics: Regularly monitor your ad performance metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators. Look for any unusual patterns or activity that could indicate fraud, such as a sudden spike in clicks or installs.
  3. Use fraud detection and prevention tools: There are several fraud detection and prevention tools available that can help you detect and prevent advertising fraud. These include anti-fraud software which can detect fraudulent clicks and block them in real-time.
  4. Implement ad fraud prevention techniques: There are several ad fraud prevention techniques that you can implement to reduce the risk of advertising fraud. These include using CAPTCHAs or other authentication methods to prevent bot traffic, limiting ad exposure to certain geographical areas, or using ad viewability verification services to ensure that your ads are being seen by real users.
  5. Stay up-to-date on ad fraud trends: Keep up-to-date with the latest ad fraud trends and techniques by reading industry publications and attending webinars and conferences. This will help you stay informed and prepared to deal with any new threats as they emerge.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of advertising fraud and ensure that your marketing campaigns are effective and efficient.

AppsFlyer is a mobile attribution and marketing analytics platform that provides tools to help prevent advertising fraud. Here are some of the ways that AppsFlyer is helping prevent advertising fraud:

  1. Fraud detection: AppsFlyer has a comprehensive fraud detection system that uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to identify and block fraudulent activity in real-time. This includes detecting and blocking ad fraud such as click spamming, click injection, device farms, and more.
  2. Fraud prevention: AppsFlyer provides marketers with tools to prevent fraud, such as pre-install fraud prevention, which helps detect fraudulent installs before they occur. It also offers post-install fraud prevention, which helps detect and block fraudulent activities after the app has been installed.
  3. Data privacy and security: AppsFlyer is committed to protecting user data and privacy. The platform adheres to global data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, and uses advanced security measures to protect user data from unauthorized access.
  4. Transparency: AppsFlyer provides transparency into ad performance metrics, such as clicks, installs, and conversions. This allows marketers to monitor their campaigns in real-time and identify any potential issues.

If you have any questions or concerns about advertising fraud that may be happening to you, please contact us or utilize the tools above and we can help you through the process. With any new challenge, there’s always a solution.

Unlock your app's success story.

Experience the future of app marketing with V.O.X—where visibility meets opportunity.