Common Mobile Ad Fraud and Ways to Combat them

Common Mobile Ad Fraud and Ways to Combat them

The mobile advertising industry is booming. Along with it, fraudsters are chasing profits. Fraudsters have stolen billions of dollars from advertisers through fake traffic and bogus clicks by abusing inventory across ad networks and exchanges. To stay ahead of the fraudsters, advertising networks and exchanges must quickly and efficiently detect false traffic and fraudulent traffic. Here are the most common ad frauds and how to deal with them:

  1. Ad Stacking

Ad stacking is a popular ad fraud scheme in which publisher websites embed multiple ads into each page, thus earning revenue through every click. It also works with video players, where the fraudsters take control of players and load them with multiple ads. You deal with this by buying low-risk placements (such as one publisher per site instead of multiple) and programmatic ad-buying, which allows an exchange to check how many ads are being loaded on a page.
Ad Stacking

  1. Botnets

Botnets are computer networks of compromised computers that have been infected with bots. Usually, the botnet is used for DDoS attacks and cryptocurrency mining, but sometimes it’s used to carry out other illegal activities such as click fraud or mobile ad fraud. The crime starts when the bots log into the publishers’ sites and can see the user’s data (browser location, cookie information, banking information). You can combat this by using URL filters and technical solutions to detect bot traffic.

  1. Device spoofing

Device spoofing is an advanced form of ad stacking in which the perpetrator uses a proxy or virtual machine to mimic an actual device to generate false clicks. You can combat this by creating filters and rules that place a cap on the number of clicks that can be generated from a single device.

  1. Impersonation

Impersonation is an ad fraud scheme in which the perpetrator takes over your campaign and substitutes its creative or targeting, thus earning money through your advertising budget. You can combat this by using publisher cookies to protect yourself against impersonation attacks. This way, you can prevent the perpetrator from verifying ads on your behalf.

  1. Device Id reset fraud

It is an ad fraud scheme in which the perpetrator changes a user’s device id to generate fraudulent traffic. You can only combat this by setting up additional security measures such as device tracing or tracking to identify devices that haven’t been used before.
Device Id reset fraud

  1. Click fraud

It is an ad fraud scheme that generates fraudulent traffic to drive up a publisher’s revenue. Some publisher sites allow online advertisers to bid on the display of their ads and then charge the advertiser when a user clicks on the ad. But many publishers are selling their ads through automated click farms designed to generate false clicks. You can deal with this using verification services and hidden data tracking technologies like pixel history and JavaScript snippets.

See also  How to mine Ethereum: A beginner’s guide to ETH mining


Despite all the efforts from the mobile advertising industry to prevent ad fraud, it continues to grow year after year. All in all, fraudsters mostly use a combination of different ways to commit their crime. Therefore, it’s hard for advertising networks and exchanges to defend against ad fraud unless they have an integrated solution to monitor and block fraudulent traffic on both the supply and demand sides.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here