Detecting and preventing ad fraud is no simple task. Ad fraud comes in many different forms, and fraudsters are always evolving their deceptive methods. Knowing what ad fraud is and what signs to look out for is helpful. And having an ad fraud protection solution in place is even better.
But there are still major obstacles advertisers and publishers are encountering in the fight against ad fraud. Here are three major challenges.
Challenge #1: Fraudsters Are Always Evolving
While ad fraud solutions work hard to mitigate fraud, perpetrators are also working even harder to stay ahead. It’s like a cat and mouse game, and the job is never done. The bad guys are constantly looking for new ways to commit ad fraud.
Let’s say you’re an ad fraud solution who makes a rule to detect ad fraud. With every new rule you make, the bad guys figure out a way to get around it. This is the vicious cycle protection vendors are faced with every day. And it’s for this very reason why A.I. will never replace humans. You still need a human eye to spot those small imperfections that indicate ad fraud is afoot.
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On the surface, the fraud doesn’t seem so obvious. But when you take a deeper look, some characteristics raise a red flag for fraudulent tendencies. Although fraudsters try to stay in the lead, they sometimes leave footprints behind. And when they do, they’re not worried because there’s no legislation against fraud.
Challenge #2: No Legislation Against Fraud
For every $3 spent on digital advertising, $1 goes into fraudsters’ pockets. For fraudsters, ad fraud has a high payout potential, making it an attractive prospect. And the risk is low: there’s no legislation on the books that makes ad fraud a crime.
For instance, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that hiQ labs, a company that used bots to scrape public information from LinkedIn accounts, was legally allowed to do so. This practice isn’t uncommon either; it’s easy and perfectly legal.
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When there’s no legislation that makes ad fraud a punishable crime, it makes it harder to deter fraudsters. And it doesn’t help that there’s a lack of industry standards, too.
Challenge #3: Lack of Industry Standards
Okay, so you’re pretty much on your own when it comes to fighting fraudsters. So, you’d think that advertisers and publishers would band together to create a united front. Ehh not so fast.
The digital advertising industry is still very much like the Wild West. Depending on who you ask, what is considered ad fraud may differ. And not all ad fraud solution platforms measure fraud identically. The lack of industry standards makes it difficult to keep everyone on the same page when fighting ad fraud.
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When searching for the right ad fraud protection vendor, it’s up to you to do your research. Demand transparency, ask questions, and go with your gut. Just like when buying a car, it might be beneficial to find a solution that allows you to test it out before committing so you know what you’re getting into.
Detecting and fighting ad fraud isn’t easy. But knowing the challenges you’ll face ahead of time, will better prepare you to take them head on.