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Who Exactly Is Behind Ad Fraud? Protect Your Budget Against Fraud

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You might have heard that fraudsters are responsible for fast-draining ad budgets. But did you know that in 2017, Anura found a potential $3 billion loss per year across 1,300 apps in the Google Play store alone?

Through obfuscated code, fraudsters were able to direct visitor’s phones to ads using free live wallpaper apps without the owner ever knowing. False actions were registered, and advertisers lost out.

So who are these “fraudsters,” and how do each type of them differ from the other? In this article, we’ll cover four types of ad fraud perpetrators and how certain ad fraud solutions stop them better than others.

Who Stands to Gain the Most from Ad Fraud?

So who is most likely to commit ad fraud, and what are their motives? Understanding who’s behind ad fraud will help determine the course of action you need to take to stop it. Here are four common ad fraud instigators to watch out for.


Unfortunately, sometimes competitors will click on PPC ads to attempt to drain the ad budget of another business. This can hurt ad scores and increase cost per click pricing. However, this is one of the less common threats you’ll come across when working to detect ad fraud.

Illegitimate Ad Networks

Not every ad network is as trustworthy as the next. Some willingly carry out or fuel ad fraud practices by operating as the middle-man between black hat marketers and ad exchanges. Other ad networks may simply turn a blind eye to ad fraud because it only means more revenue as far as they’re concerned.

Organized Crime Networks / Cybercriminals

Criminal mastermind groups construct elaborate ad fraud schemes that generate automated and spoofed activity to earn CPM, CPL, or CPC ad revenue. Often, these schemes generate millions of dollars.

Black Hat Marketers

Black hat marketers are masters of SEO, affiliate marketing, and other webmaster skills that are used to inflate their personal ad earnings. Sometimes these fraudsters manage bots. Other times, they are publishers of content where ads are shown, allowing them to fully control the ad fraud schemes they run.

A Proactive Approach to Ad Fraud Prevention

To prevent fraudsters from burning through your ad budget, it’s essential to take a proactive approach. Detecting the early warning signs that there might be ad fraud going on can prevent it from impacting your campaigns.

Here are some key measures for a company to employ to prevent ad fraud:

  • Implement an ad fraud solution that can detect both General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)
  • Use a solution that has blocking and anti-targeting technologies to stop compromised machines and traffic
  • Deploy an ad fraud solution that confirms your ads are being served in the targeted locations and to the targeted devices

Detect and Stop Every Type of Fraudster

Stopping fraudsters is one of the most pressing problems for marketers today. With so many types of nefarious characters out there, it might seem hopeless. The good news is, there’s a solution for businesses to detect and respond in real time to ad fraud.

Anura provides technology that doesn’t just detect ad fraud, it empowers business owners to block it in real-time. Regain control over your ROI. Start your free trial today.

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