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Fraud Detection

Before you can defend against fraud, you must first be able to detect it.


What is ad fraud?

Ad fraud is the practice of viewing, clicking, converting, or generating false interactions with any web asset for the sole purpose of earning money directly or indirectly.  Ad Fraud can be committed by bots, malware, or humans.

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What is a Bot?

Short for “robot,” a bot is an automated software program built to carry out a specific task that most people would find too repetitive or time-consuming. Fraudulent bots usually mimic normal activity such as clicking an ad, placing items in shopping carts, commenting on social media, or filling out a form.  Bot fraud usually involves the use of bot farms or large collectives of bots that act in unison usually referred to as a botnet.

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What is Malware?

Malware is malicious software installed on an unsuspecting user's computer, either desktop or mobile, that is designed to mimic a real user to perform tasks that steal advertising dollars. Tasks like viewing or clicking on ads, watching videos, filling in forms, and other unsavory activity unbeknownst to the user.

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What is Human Fraud?

Human fraud is the hardest form of ad fraud to detect as it relies on a network of humans, instead of using bots or malware, to interact with ads and create false transactions. Because actual humans are interacting with the ads, there are no obvious signs that can differentiate normal traffic from human fraud.

Classifications of Invalid Traffic

Invalid traffic, often known as IVT, refers to any form of web traffic that is derived from a non-human source.



General Invalid Traffic

IVT comes in a few different forms, including General Invalid Traffic, or GIVT. GIVT refers to bots, crawlers, spiders, or any of the kind of non-human traffic typically routed from a data center IP address. GIVT can also apply to activity-based filtration or browsers that pre-render pages. Most of the time, GIVT is easy to identify and exclude from results.


Sophisticated Invalid Traffic

SIVT stands for Sophisticated Invalid Traffic. SIVT techniques are far more challenging to detect. This can include advanced bots that closely mimic human traffic, hijacked devices, malware, invalid proxy traffic, cookie manipulation techniques, like cookie stuffing or human fraud farms.

Common signs of fraud:

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You’re getting a lot of clicks, but you aren’t getting many conversions.

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Your best-performing campaigns are suddenly generating little to no ROI.

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You’re getting a lot of traffic on unexpected pages of your website, like your privacy policy.

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Your campaigns have extremely high bounce rates.

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Your leads are confused why you’re calling — they never filled out a form.

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You’ve put together a great campaign, but nobody is engaging.

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You notice a lot of traffic originating from unfamiliar sources.

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Your visitors' time on site is extremely low.

Common methods of ad fraud:

Do these sound familiar?

Anura can help!

Get Started

Let Anura work for you.

Good news! You don’t have to detect fraud manually. Let Anura do the work while you focus on growing your business.

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Validate traffic in real-time.

Our solution runs in the background and lets you know when visitors are fraudulent. Armed with that information, you can then determine the best course of action for your business.

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Not all solutions are the same.

Many solutions claim to detect fraud. See how Anura stands out from the rest with our unparalleled accuracy, thoroughness, and analytics.

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We love working with Anura and their Team. Rich and his entire group have built a great tool that anyone in marketing should be using. They have great support and know their stuff. I recommend anyone I know to try their tool!

-Brett Kaufman, Successful Media, LLC

FAQs About Ad Fraud Detection of Invalid & False Activity

Unfortunately, it's become more and more common for online advertisers to lose money on marketing campaigns because of ad activity that's fraudulent. Advanced methods of eluding detection are making it harder for businesses to uncover fraud themselves. The good news is, ad fraud detection experts are working tirelessly to find ways to help businesses. By leveraging machine learning and advanced ad tech, a solution like Anura can uncover fraudulent activities before it's too late.

Common prevention and detection methods like sifting through simple marketing analytics are no longer enough. It’s essential to differentiate real human behavior from malicious activity when seeking out a solution for ad fraud. Otherwise, false positives will also deplete ad budgets and hurt brand reputations.

Let’s cover some of the frequently asked questions about ad fraud detection to help you protect your precious marketing budget from digital ad fraud.

What is ad fraud?

One of the main reasons for lower conversion rates today is ad fraud. Ad fraud is when bad actors find ways to create views, clicks, conversions, or false interactions with any web asset in order to earn money. Income can be earned either directly or indirectly and is the sole motivation of fraudsters. There are no ties to the actual content of the advertising itself. 

Ad fraud can be carried out in numerous ways, including the use of bots, malware, human labor, or a combination of all of these. Much of which methods are used depends on the end goal of the fraudsters

How can ad fraud be prevented?

When your marketing efforts are centered around digital advertising, it's absolutely essential to minimize the amount of ad fraud throughout your digital marketing. Generating revenue from online advertising is hard enough, so finding ways to trim any and all inefficiencies must always be a priority.

Using the power of data science, machine learning, and human experts in fraud detection, Anura’s multi-layered approach is unparalleled at discerning quality visitors from fraudsters. Our technology analyzes hundreds of individual visitor data points nearly instantaneously, making it possible for our fraud detection experts to uncover patterns of fraudulent activity. While machine learning is powerful, but it takes the help of data science professionals to prevent false positives. That’s why Anura’s ad fraud detection solution is still very human-involved.

How is ad fraud committed?

Ad fraud comes in many forms, and is something that's always evolving. Examples include software programs that mimic user behavior for financial gain, ad networks being used to commit fraud on a massive scale with ad stacking, and cookie stuffing. These attacks on ad campaigns can also drive up the cost of ads by creating false demand that increases your campaign costs. This combination of fake clicks, inflated CPM prices, and lower conversion rates is what makes ad fraud detection companies such an invaluable resource. By revealing which visitors are legit and which aren’t, you'll be able to quickly cut off fraudulent advertisers.

What are the consequences of ad fraud?

Advertising fraud can totally wreck the budgetary plans you have for your ad campaigns, but it can also wreak havoc on other aspects of your business. Wasted time calling leads that never filled out forms, TCPA violations that result in costly fines, wasted staff resources, and damage to brand reputation are all potential consequences of ad fraud. Not only does this reduce the number of ideal clients you land, but it also decreases your ROAS along with company morale.

Depending on the ad network, this may be next to impossible to detect with human oversight alone, no matter how vigilant. Even when you're on the right ad network when it comes to security, digital advertising can be riddled with fraud. Getting the help of an ad fraud detection company like Anura can provide 24/7 detection of a wide range of ad fraud.

What are the most common types of ad fraud?

The fraudulent activity comes in many types. The most common include fake clicks from bot traffic, inflating ad impression numbers through ad stacking, and spoofing domains. Whatever form the ad fraud may take, the best technology is needed to catch it. Seek out ad fraud detection companies that focus on providing services for a range of digital advertising campaigns, whether programmatic ads, affiliate marketing, search and social, lead generation, or more.

What is ad fraud prevention?

The best ad fraud detection companies tirelessly work to update their software and ad tech to catch the warning signs of digital advertising fraud fast. This means you'll be able to stop potential drains on your advertising campaigns and ensure they deliver the results you need to meet your sales goals. These preventative measures can start with deactivating an affiliate's link, but can also include banning traffic from fraudulent visitors. 

One downside to basic approaches like these is that Google limits how many IP addresses can be banned, requiring more human involvement to truly detect and prevent ad fraud. That’s why Anura’s solution isn’t as simplistic as IP address blocking. We provide a complete solution that combines machine learning with human experts in ad fraud detection.

How does ad fraud prevention detect ad fraud?

Detection of ad fraud is no easy task. It takes a combination of machine learning and human involvement to effectively prevent ad fraud. No one has the time and resources to log individual fraudulent visitors all day and night. That’s why companies hire Anura. Our experts in the data science of ad fraud work tirelessly using our sophisticated software to discern the real ad interaction from the fraudulent ones. This means fewer false positives and a higher percentage of fraud prevented.

What are the benefits of preventing fraudulent traffic?

Preventing fraudulent traffic has numerous benefits. First, there's a strong chance you'll be able to lower the overall cost of your ad campaigns because the ad networks aren't working from false ad interaction data. This means for every conversion, you'll pay less, increasing your ROAS. You'll also enjoy a reduction in wasted staff resources, lower costs per click, higher conversion rates, less damage to brand reputation, and avoiding costly TCPA violation fines.

How can you improve your ad fraud prevention?

Improving ad fraud prevention at the enterprise level demands a more complete solution. That’s why Anura empowers our human experts in ad fraud with the deep insights machine learning affords. Together, this powerful combination makes it possible to detect a higher percentage of ad fraud events with fewer false positives. 

When companies rely on Anura to detect and prevent ad fraud, they save valuable time and resources, maximizing the ROI of their digital ad campaigns. Get started with Anura today.

If you didn’t find the answer you need, click here to reach out to one of our ad fraud experts
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