Ad Fraud: How Ad Fraudsters Generate Revenue

Everyday fraudsters attempt to steal your ad spend and make money.

It is estimated that fraudsters generate a revenue of $10 billion every year. 

Day-by-day it is becoming critical for the marketers to prevent their ad spent and maintain reputation. 

In this article, we will learn about ad frauds and how fraudsters generate revenue so that you can take preventative measures to protect against ad fraud.

What Is Ad fraud?

Ad fraud is the exploitation of online advertisement by the fraudster to generate revenue from your ad spend. You stand powerless when you don’t know how your ad spent is being stolen. Although there are various methods to generate revenue from your online ads generally fraudsters use methods like- domain spoofing, click farms, and click spam. 

How Fraudsters Generate Revenue?

The existence of ad fraud is from the beginning of online advertising, but in recent years the (real-time bidding) RTB model is being adopted by the publisher that shows the goals and performance of your online ads clearly defines whether your online ads are being a fraud or not. Using various methods and fraudsters generate a lot of revenue and make it critical to keep your marketing budget safe. Let’s see some of the important methods that fraudsters can use to generate revenue from your online ads.

Click Spam 

Click spam or click fraud is a method in which clicks are executed on behalf of the user’s device without the user’s knowledge. These clicks are used as fake clicks by the fraudsters to make it appear as a real user has clicked on your ad and installed an app. This way a fraudster claims credit on the behalf of a real user for an install. This also allows fraudsters to make your datasets unreliable so that you can invest more as you will believe that your ad campaign is successful. Fraudsters use software or human-powered clicks with the help of employees whose responsibility is to click on ads to install apps.

Cookie Stuffing

We all know that cookies are the files that store information and browsing data of the visitors that are used by the publisher to deliver their online ads according to the data. In cooking stuffing, a fraudster hacks visitors browsing data and replaces it with other browsing data which is very common in affiliate marketing. This way a fraudster generates revenue from the publisher by stuffing text files of browsing data with false information and collects revenue for a click, conversion, or sale.

Click Injection

Click injection methods are generally used for injecting fake clicks on the ads that are specially designed for mobile platforms. In this method, fraudsters generate fake clicks that have not originated from the users. Whenever a user clicks on the ads to download the app and results in a misattribution then fraudsters take advantage of this and inject fraud clicks to the malicious apps that download unknowingly. A signal is sent to other apps to create a better connection and deep links between the apps on the user’s device. Thus, fraudsters use fake engagement to generate revenue.

Ad stacking

Ad stacking means placing several ads under the cover of a particular ad. Whenever you will click on this type of ad then multiple webpages will open instead of one. It is generally used by fraudsters to generate a huge amount of revenue from the publisher as multiple advertisers can be billed at the same time whenever a user clicks on the ad. This type of ad shows a very high engagement rate but low conversion. Publishers can easily identify ad stacking fraud by going through the performance and conversion rate of online ads.

Domain Spoofing

Domain spoofing is a type of ad fraud in which the advertiser pays the publisher for better engagement and traffic to make their ranking higher in the search result. This is done through URL substitution or cross-domain substitution of links that are changed by the fraudster. In domain spoofing, the URL looks like a premium site but with the help of bots, it is changed by the fraudsters to visit any other site on the internet. 

Wrapping Up

To prevent different types of ad frauds from the fraudster, all you need is to utilize advanced fraud prevention technology like- WPAdsense for your online ads. It protects your ads from the ad fraudsters and delivers more analytical results for flawless marketing strategy.

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