Click fraud is a huge problem for advertisers, costing them an estimated 25% of their ad spend. Because of this very real statistic, marketers should always be aware that their ad spend is at risk for fraud. By understanding the many ways these risks present themselves, advertisers can take steps to combat click fraud. In this article, we'll cover 4 Click Fraud methods that marketers should be aware of.
What Click Fraud Methods Do Fraudsters Employ?
There are numerous click fraud methods that fraudsters utilize to siphon money from the budgets of advertisers. Here are four of the leading methods to be aware of.
Fake Social Media Accounts
There's an estimated 81,000,000 fake profiles on Facebook, many of which are leveraged to do the dirty work of fraudsters running click fraud schemes. These fake visitors can attack ad campaigns in all sorts of ways, from fake engagement with paid posts to clicks on specific ad creatives.
You might wonder how it's possible to pass the security checks of Facebook and then remain under the radar while draining ad campaigns. For fraudsters, this process is a never-ending battle, with new methods being employed all the time.
New SIM Cards In "Burner" Phones
When it comes to the Facebook sign-up process, there's always a step requiring verification using a cell phone. To work around this, the fraudster simply buys a new SIM card, inserts it into a cheap "burner" phone, and uses the number to receive the verification text.
Once confirmed using this inexpensive cell phone setup, the fraudster's account is live and ready to do their bidding. Because only the SIM card is necessary to create a new phone number and not a whole new phone, this method is a low barrier for fraudsters to overcome.
AI Generated Profile Images
Generating images using the power of AI has recently become more easily accessible. This new technology has exploded in popularity amongst everyone from NFT artists to social media managers trying to create unique visual content.
But another more sinister use case has risen as well—creating profile images for fake accounts. To pass sign-up verification checks and sneak by click fraud detection solutions, fraudsters have started employing AI image generators to create fake profile pictures.
Click farms are groups of fake visitors that can be directed to commit click fraud on a massive scale. Sometimes, these farms are assembled by purchasing the profiles created by other fraudsters who specialize in this step.
Because these fake visitors can be controlled at scale, the economics of the deal is well worth it to fraudsters seeking a big payoff. As long as advertisers remain in the dark about where the clicks are really coming from, fraudsters can continue their schemes.
Why You Need An Ad Fraud Solution
Leveraging an ad fraud solution can provide a myriad of benefits for advertisers concerned about click fraud. First of all, your advertising account will be protected from falsified charges that rapidly deplete your campaign budget without delivering sales.
Then, there's the inaccurate campaign data resulting from fraudulent activity to contend with. Click farms can negatively impact the effectiveness of your future ad campaigns by making forecasting extremely difficult.
Finally, because of how quickly click farms can act, there's the risk of having your ads being replaced by a fraudster's ads once your budget is drained. The fraudsters then run competing ads to continue earning.
Protect Your Ad Campaigns From Click Fraud With Anura
An estimate by Statista found that worldwide ad fraud in 2021 cost advertisers roughly $65 billion. To help you avoid being part of this statistic, Anura provides the best solution for blocking fraudulent visitors in real-time. Our solution catches 200-300% more click fraud than competing solutions. That’s because we combine real human analysis with our proprietary data science tools. Learn how it works by requesting a free trial today.