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Fraud Detection

Detect and eliminate fraudulent traffic.

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

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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.

Each year, ad fraud costs businesses billions of dollars in lost ad spend. Not only do costs become inflated, but this fraudulent activity skews performance metrics. That makes it challenging to measure the effectiveness of campaigns.

Protect your advertising investments and the integrity of your campaigns with the right ad fraud detection software.

 

Ad fraud can be committed by bots, malware, or humans.

Ad fraud comes in many different shapes and sizes.

Creating an effective strategy to combat it starts with understanding how ad fraud happens.

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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. Bot traffic usually mimics 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 that is 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 activities unbeknownst to the user.

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What is Human Fraud?

Human fraud is the hardest form of 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 help ad fraud detection tools differentiate normal traffic from  human fraud.

Classifications of Invalid Traffic

Invalid Traffic (IVT) can be classified into three categories:
Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT), General Invalid Traffic (GIVT), and Non-Human Traffic (NHT).

 

SIVT

Sophisticated Invalid Traffic

SIVT refers to highly advanced and sophisticated techniques used to generate fraudulent 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.

GIVT

General Invalid Traffic

GIVT encompasses relatively simpler and more easily detectable forms of invalid traffic. 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.

NHT

Non-Human Traffic

NHT, also known as bot traffic, refers to traffic generated by automated bots or scripts rather than real human visitors. Bots can simulate user behavior, such as clicking on ads, visiting websites, or filling out forms, leading to inflated ad metrics and misleading campaign performance. NHT can be a subset of both SIVT and GIVT categories.

Ensure genuine user engagement with Anura

Common signs of fraud:

Are your numbers too good to be true?

Recognizing the signs of fraud early will help you maximize the return on your ad spend and gain peace of mind that your metrics are accurate.

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Suspiciously High Click-Through Rates (CTR): Fraud can be indicated by abnormally high CTR that surpasses industry benchmarks. Excessively high CTR may suggest the presence of click fraud, where fraudulent clicks are artificially generated to inflate engagement metrics.

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Confused leads that deny filling out a form: When your leads express confusion about receiving calls or communications from your business when they never filled out a form or expressed interest, it raises concerns about the legitimacy of your lead generation efforts. Such confusion is often an indication of ad fraud.

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Abnormal Conversion Patterns: Ad fraud can disrupt the natural conversion funnel, leading to irregular conversion patterns. Unusual spikes or inconsistencies in conversion rates, especially when not aligned with campaign objectives or user behavior, may be indicative of fraudulent activities.

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Inconsistent User Engagement: Ad fraud can result in inconsistent user engagement metrics. For example, if there are variations in time spent on-site, pages visited, or interaction patterns, it may imply the presence of non-human traffic or automated bot activity instead of genuine user engagement.

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Excessive Traffic from Certain Locations: Unusually high traffic from specific geographic regions or IP addresses could be a sign of ad fraud. Fraudsters may manipulate traffic sources to generate fake impressions or clicks, targeting specific locations to appear more legitimate.

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Irregular Spikes in Ad Performance: Sudden and unexplained spikes in ad performance metrics, such as impressions, clicks, or conversions, can be an indication of ad fraud. These irregularities may suggest the use of fraudulent techniques like ad stacking or click bots to artificially boost campaign results.

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Common methods of ad fraud:

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Types of Ad Fraud

Impression Fraud

Impression fraud involves generating false impressions by artificially inflating the number of times an ad is served or displayed. This can be achieved through techniques like pixel stuffing, hidden ad placements, or manipulating ad refresh rates.

Click Fraud

Click fraud occurs when fraudulent clicks are generated on ads, often by automated bots or click farms. The aim is to increase the number of clicks without genuine user engagement, leading to inflated click-through rates and wasted advertising budgets.

Attribution Fraud

Attribution fraud exploits the attribution models used in advertising campaigns. Fraudsters manipulate the attribution process to wrongfully claim credit for conversions or installs, leading to incorrect allocation of advertising budgets and misleading performance metrics.

Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud involves fraudulent practices by affiliates or partner networks. It includes activities like cookie stuffing, where unauthorized cookies are placed on users' devices without their knowledge, leading to falsely attributed conversions and commissions.

Bot Traffic Manipulation

Ad fraudsters use bot traffic to simulate user interactions and engagement with ads. Bots can generate fake clicks, impressions, or conversions, creating the illusion of genuine user activity and deceiving advertisers.

Lead Generation Fraud

Lead generation fraud refers to the deceptive practices employed to generate false or low-quality leads in marketing campaigns. It involves activities such as submitting fabricated or irrelevant information, utilizing automated bots or scripts, or misleading users into providing their details without genuine intent.

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The Negative and Financial Impacts of Ad Fraud

Wasted Advertising Budget

Ad fraud leads to a significant waste of advertising budgets. Fraudulent activities such as fake impressions, clicks, and conversions drain advertisers' funds without providing any actual value or meaningful engagement with real users.

How much are you losing to fraud?  Try our ad fraud calculator now!

Decreased ROI

Ad fraud skews campaign performance metrics, leading to misleading results and reduced return on investment (ROI). Advertisers may struggle to accurately assess the effectiveness of their campaigns, make data-driven decisions, and optimize their strategies for better outcomes.

Damaged Brand Reputation

Ad fraud can harm a brand's reputation. When ads are associated with fraudulent or low-quality placements, it can erode consumer trust and perception of the brand. Negative experiences resulting from ad fraud can impact customer loyalty and hinder long-term brand growth.

Advertiser-Publisher Trust

Ad fraud strains the trust between advertisers and publishers. When advertisers unknowingly pay for fraudulent traffic or impressions, it can lead to strained relationships with publishers who may be unaware of the fraudulent activities occurring on their platforms.

Ad Tech Industry Impact

Ad fraud undermines the overall health and sustainability of the ad tech industry. It affects the confidence of advertisers, leading to reduced investments and potential disruptions in the ecosystem. Ad fraud also puts legitimate ad tech companies at a disadvantage as they compete with fraudulent entities.

Economic Impact

Ad fraud has broader economic consequences. It diverts resources and investments into fraudulent activities instead of productive and genuine advertising efforts. This misallocation of resources can have a negative impact on industry growth, innovation, and job creation.

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eBook

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Choose Anura for Ad Fraud Protection

Safeguard your advertising investment with Anura's advanced ad fraud detection and prevention capabilities.

Benefits of Using Anura

Anura ensures that your ad spend is protected from fraudulent activity, allowing you to focus on reaching real customers and achieving your business goals. Choose an ad fraud detection company that leverages cutting-edge technology to help keep your campaigns secure and efficient.

  • Enhanced Accuracy. Anura's ad fraud solution ensures accurate identification of fraudulent activities, with no false positives or confusing scores, providing businesses with reliable and actionable data.
  • Thorough Detection. Anura analyzes user behavior patterns comprehensively, detecting click farms, bots, and other fraudulent activities to provide businesses with a clear understanding of ad fraud within their campaigns.
  • Fraud Prevention. Anura promptly detects fraudulent traffic, minimizing wasted ad spend and optimizing ROI for businesses, eliminating the need to apply for refunds as ads are blocked from fraudulent visitors.
  • Real-Time Monitoring. Anura's real-time monitoring and alerts enable businesses to respond quickly to fraudulent activities, mitigating their impact on ad campaigns.
  • Granular Analytics. Anura offers detailed analytics and insights into ad fraud trends, patterns, and sources, empowering businesses to make informed decisions in combating ad fraud effectively.
  • Rulesets set by experts. Anura's solution provides pre-defined rulesets set by industry experts, ensuring businesses benefit from optimized fraud detection and prevention measures.
  • Easy Integration. Anura's ad fraud solution integrates seamlessly with existing advertising platforms, allowing businesses to be up and running within minutes.
  • Comprehensive Dashboard. Anura provides businesses with a comprehensive dashboard that offers a centralized view of their ad fraud data, enabling easy monitoring and analysis of campaigns.
  • TAG Certified Against Fraud. Anura is TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group) certified against fraud, demonstrating its commitment to industry-leading standards and best practices in ad fraud prevention.
  • Dedicated Support. Anura offers comprehensive support to businesses, assisting them in implementing and optimizing the ad fraud solution for their specific needs.

Get Started with Anura's real-time fraud detection

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

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Case Study
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FAQs about Ad Fraud Detection

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?

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.

Why is ad fraud a concern?

Ad fraud can have severe consequences, including financial losses, inaccurate campaign performance analysis, reduced trust in digital advertising, and wasted marketing efforts. It is crucial to detect and mitigate ad fraud to ensure ad budgets are used effectively and advertising ecosystems remain trustworthy.

How does ad fraud detection work?

Ad fraud detection involves using sophisticated algorithms, machine learning techniques, and data analysis to identify patterns and anomalies indicative of fraudulent activity. It examines various metrics such as click-through rates, conversions, IP addresses, user behavior, and traffic sources to detect fraudulent patterns.

How can ad fraud be prevented?

When your marketing efforts are centered around digital advertising, it's 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 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.

What are the common types of ad fraud?

Common types of ad fraud include click fraud (invalid clicks on ads), impression fraud (falsely inflating ad impressions), bot traffic (automated scripts mimicking human behavior), ad stacking (layering multiple ads to generate false impressions), and domain spoofing (misrepresenting ad placements).

How can ad fraud impact my advertising campaigns?

Ad fraud can result in wasted ad spend, inflated performance metrics, inaccurate targeting, reduced return on investment (ROI), and compromised brand reputation. By identifying and mitigating ad fraud, you can optimize your campaigns, improve targeting accuracy, and allocate budgets more efficiently.

What are the benefits of using an ad fraud detection solution?

Ad fraud detection solutions help you proactively identify and prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring your ad campaigns reach real users and genuine engagement. These solutions provide insights into campaign performance, enhance targeting accuracy, save ad spend, and safeguard your brand's reputation.

How accurate are ad fraud detection systems?

Ad fraud detection systems employ advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to achieve high accuracy. However, it's important to note that fraudsters constantly evolve their tactics, so detection systems must continuously adapt to new threats. Reputable ad fraud detection providers strive to stay ahead of fraudulent techniques.

Can ad fraud detection impact legitimate traffic?

Ad fraud detection systems aim to identify and filter out fraudulent activity while preserving legitimate traffic. However, false positives can occur, flagging some legitimate traffic as potentially fraudulent. Reputable detection systems strike a balance between fraud prevention and minimizing false positives to maintain campaign effectiveness.

How can I integrate ad fraud detection into my advertising campaigns?

Integrating ad fraud detection involves working with a reputable provider who offers an API or SDK that can be implemented within your existing advertising technology stack. The provider can guide you through the integration process and provide support to ensure smooth operation and accurate fraud detection.

How can I choose the right ad fraud detection solution for my business?

When selecting an ad fraud detection solution, consider factors such as accuracy, real-time monitoring capabilities, integration options, reporting and analytics features, customer support, and the provider's reputation. It's essential to evaluate multiple solutions and choose one that aligns with your specific needs and budget.

How can ad fraud be prevented?

When your marketing efforts are centered around digital advertising, it's 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 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.

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

Do you offer Google Ads fraud protection?

Google Ads is a powerful platform for reaching new customers, but like any advertising platform, it can be vulnerable to ad fraud. Anura’s sophisticated technology offers Google Ads fraud protection, so you can trust your online advertising on this global platform.

Why is mobile ad fraud detection and prevention important?

Both mobile and desktop fraud aim to generate fake clicks, impressions, or conversions to steal ad revenue.However, mobile devices provide a treasure trove of data points beyond just clicks and browsing behavior. Mobile ad fraud detection and prevention leverage this distinct data to identify fraudulent activity.

 
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