How To Detect Ad Fraud

Fraud claims wipe $45 bn off India's Adani group stocks
Source: Pixabay

Advertising fraud is a serious issue. Every year, advertisers lose billions of dollars to fraudsters who create fake websites and invent clicks on ads that never actually get seen by real people.

Advertising fraud isn’t just a problem for advertisers; it affects everyone. That’s because ad fraud ultimately drives up the cost of advertising, which means that we all end up paying more for the things we buy.

Early advertising fraud detection is key to stopping ad fraud. This article exposes the way fraudsters work and how you can detect their tactics online.

How Ad Fraud Works

Digital advertising fraud is a deliberate and malicious act that changes how ads are delivered and keep them from reaching their intended audience. Fraudsters aim to trick the system into siphoning advertising dollars for personal gain.

If left undetected, ad fraud causes advertisers to continue spending for distorted metrics that don’t produce actual revenues.

Common Types Of Ad Fraud

  • Click Fraud: This occurs when someone clicks on an ad without being genuinely interested in the advertised product or service. Often, click fraud is perpetrated by so-called “click farms,” where people are paid to click on ads.
  • Traffic Fraud: This uses bots to imitate traffic and trick analytics into thinking everything is going well so that you increase ad spending.
  • Impression Fraud: This generates hollow fake impressions, usually by serving ads to irrelevant and low-profile websites.
  • Conversion Fraud: Ad fraud bots are trained to perform simple actions that mimic the customer journey and their conversion actions, such as completing a form, clicking on links, or downloading a file.

Advertising fraud is difficult to detect because it often takes place on a large scale and uses sophisticated methods to avoid detection. However, there are some steps that advertisers can take to detect and prevent advertising fraud, such as using advertising fraud detection software.

By taking these steps, advertisers can protect their advertising budgets from waste and prevent advertising costs from rising too high.

Advertising Fraud Detection Signals

These red flags will help you detect any incident of ad fraud.

1. Unusual activity on your website.

If you see a sudden spike in traffic from a particular source or receive a lot of clicks on your ads from strange places, it could indicate that someone is trying to defraud you. You can further confirm this if you see that irrelevant pages on your site, like the privacy page, are suddenly receiving lots of traffic.

2. Lack of engagement.

You have created a fantastic campaign, yet nobody is engaging despite that you’re getting impressions for your ads. Impression fraud may be at work here. If you notice that people are clicking on your ads but not taking any actions (such as filling out a form or buying a product), it could indicate that the clicks are fake.

3. High bounce rates.

If people click on your ad and then immediately leave your website, it could indicate that they were lured there by a false promise and now realize that they’ve been scammed. You can check the time they spent on your site, and if it’s lower than the average, the traffic is not your intended audience.

4. Zero or low ROI

Your campaign is suddenly generating below-target ROI despite it being top-performing. You may want to recheck the metrics and see if the analytics are telling the complete picture. If your leads are confused about how you got their numbers, then that could point to conversion fraud.

Stop Ad Fraud Today!

The problem of advertising fraud is serious, but there is a way to detect it. If you see any of these red flags, immediately taking action is vital. The sooner you shut down a fraudulent campaign, the less money you’ll lose.

Anura helps you stop ad fraud through automatic advertising fraud detection. Our solution validates your website’s real-time traffic while running in the background. As soon as fraud is detected, our system will alert you.

Let Anura do the work so you can focus on your business. Check out how our solution stands out from the competition with a free demo today. Don’t delay. Start protecting your site with Anura’s ad fraud detection solution.

How to Detect Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a serious threat to every business that throws off analytics and causes revenue losses. Learn how advertising fraud detection happens in this post.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

Daily Newsletter