Ad fraud is a serious problem for advertisers, marketers, and e-commerce companies. In fact, a recent study from Juniper Research found that ad fraud cost companies $42 billion in 2019, a 21 percent uptick from the previous year. Making matters worse, the firm predicts that losses will balloon to $100 billion by 2023.

There are many different kinds of ad fraud. Some fraudsters might use bots to generate fake clicks, fake traffic, and fake leads. Others might enlist the services of click farms or botnets to fraudulently click on advertisements. Fraud can also occur when lead generation forms are filled out inaccurately or when fraudulent e-commerce transactions are generated from affiliate links, earning money for the fraudster and leaving the seller on the hook for chargebacks.

The good news is that there are a number of solutions designed to mitigate these risks, including CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA v3, and ad fraud detection solutions like Anura.


In 1997, the first version of CAPTCHA—which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart—was invented. If you’ve been on the internet for a while now, you’ve almost certainly come across these tests at one point or another in your digital travels. Essentially, users would see a sequence of distorted letters and numbers and were prompted to input the correct answer.

The CAPTCHA user experience left much to be desired. How many times did you input the wrong CAPTCHA because the sequence was too distorted even for human eyes?

What Is reCAPTCHA?

Enter reCAPTCHA, a human verification system developed in 2007 and purchased by Google in 2009. Initially, the tool was developed to help digitize books that couldn’t be scanned by computers. Once enacted to verify users, reCAPTCHA displayed two different distorted words with lines running through them (compared to CAPTCHA’s random sequences of letters and numbers).

By 2012, the project began incorporating images from Google Street View. By now, you’ve almost certainly spent a decent chunk of time clicking all of the images that contain a stoplight just to prove you’re not a bot. And you’ve probably failed some of these tests, too, because real people fail them 30 percent of the time.

There were a few more iterations of reCAPTCHA, including the noCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA, where low-risk users only had to click a checkbox that stated “I’m not a robot.”

What Is reCAPTCHA v3?

In 2018, Google unveiled reCAPTCHA v3, the latest iteration of the tool. Even if you’re an incredibly proficient internet user, there’s a good chance you’re scratching your chin and wondering whether you’ve come across reCAPTCHA v3 before.

With reCAPTCHA v3, you don’t have to decipher distorted words, you don’t have to click boxes to indicate you know what a car looks like, and you don’t even have to click the “I’m not a robot” checkbox, either. That’s because reCAPTCHA v3 exists largely in the background—completely invisible to the average user. As such, reCAPTCHA v3 helps companies detect bots while ostensibly delivering a better user experience—but in exchange it hurts user privacy.

Here’s how it works: Google analyzes behavior as users navigate a website, and they rank that behavior to determine how “risky” the user is, i.e., how likely it is that the session is actually a bot and not a human.

While reCAPTCHA v3 can help websites detect bots, it’s only good for that use case. If you want to protect your website from ad fraud, you’ll need to do more than rely on this service. We know for a fact that carefully crafted malware and human fraud will get past reCAPTCHA v3 because we’ve tested it in our own labs here at Anura!

Request a free trial today to see exactly how Anura’s solution works within  your environment and specific marketing campaigns. >>

What About a Complete and Comprehensive Ad Fraud Solution?

Anura is an enterprise-grade fraud solution designed to protect you from all kinds of fraud—including bots, malware, and human fraud. If you’re like most companies, you are struggling to combat human fraud farms around the globe who are filling out your forms with real user information. Because these folks are human, they will get past all versions of reCAPTCHA.

Anura is the only tool on the market that will stop these fraudsters while also protecting your business from bots and malware. This will save you in a number of ways, including the following:

Increase your ROI

Research from Adobe shows that 28 percent of all web traffic is fraudulent. If you spent $100,000 to generate 250 leads, you can assume that as many as 70 leads—which cost you $28,000—are fraudulent. Wouldn’t you rather light the money on fire than put it into the pockets of a fraudster?

With Anura’s ad fraud detection solution in place, you can prevent this fraud from occurring, increasing the return on all of your campaigns and bolstering the bottom line for your business.

Reduce TCPA violations

Marketers that run afoul of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) can face serious penalties, to the tune of $1,500 per each individual unwanted call and text. If you collect phone numbers through your website and your website is targeted by a human click farm that is filling out form after form with real people’s information, your company can still be hit with those serious fines.

Anura helps you overcome these challenges by stopping fraudulent traffic at the source. Not only will you avoid incurring hefty fines, you’ll also be able to cultivate higher quality leads—which should help you drive more sales.

Reduce call center resources

If you’re placing a ton of phone calls based on numbers you obtain due to fraud, chances are the recipients of those phone calls won’t be too thrilled. A good chunk of them will probably end up picking up the phone and contacting your call center to voice their disgust. By preventing bogus form fills in the first place, Anura helps you avoid this issue altogether.

Reduce brand reputation issues

Customers are more likely to tell the folks in their networks about a bad experience with a brand than they are to share stories about good experiences. If folks are getting spammed because you’re dealing with fraud issues, chances are at least some of their friends will find out.

And this is a big deal because 32 percent of customers would switch brands following a single bad experience. With Anura, you can pick up the phone with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re only calling people who are expecting to hear from you.

Anura: Detecting and Preventing the Ad Fraud reCAPTCHA Won’t

Anura gives you access to a robust dashboard that will pinpoint where all fraud is coming from using a variety of metrics. That way, you can stop buying that traffic to improve your overall ROI, saving you money and helping you make more of it—to the point where you’ll easily offset the costs of our service.

We’ve tested our solution against reCAPTCHA v3 with other clients, and they’ve all seen the difference. We know you will, too. Request a free trial of Anura today to see how our service can detect and prevent the ad fraud that other services can’t. Run an A/B test to see how much more ad fraud Anura can find than reCAPTCHA.

We look forward to helping you solve your ad fraud problems!

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