With $7.3 billion in losses caused by mobile app install ad fraud in 2018, fraudsters continue to bite out a chunk of marketing budgets. More than ever before, marketers are placing data at the heart of their mobile marketing strategies, and in good measure, as it creates a highly-analytical and effective environment to fight fraud. But how well this works is an open question.
In 2019, we expect a myriad of more sophisticated and scalable methods of thwarting advertising efforts - which is the focus of this post. Check out this list of the latest trends to watch out for in mobile ad fraud in 2019.
Vulnerable digital advertising with new fraud schemes
In the battle against ad fraud, we must keep in mind that fraudsters are after one thing only: money. And digital advertising is a valuable target for them - Juniper Research forecasts that total spend on digital advertising will reach $520 billion by 2023, rising from $294 billion in 2019.
One of the rules of thumb for fraudsters is to remain undetected and steal as much marketing budget as possible. And there’s a particular subfield they’re interested in: vulnerable digital advertising. By vulnerable, we mean new markets and technologies that are just emerging and trying out their capabilities. Fraudsters thrive on this vulnerable state as there is little to none detection mechanisms in place and where the ad tech market is relatively immature.
Playable Ads has been the subject of sophisticated ad fraud schemes due to its fast-growing environment. This type of advertising is receiving a ton of attention and spending from marketers, making it the ideal target for fraudsters.
Mobile ad fraud remains a growing problem but machine learning can save the day
With ad spending continuously growing for mobile marketing budgets, fraud attempts continue to rise as well, following the influx of capital. According to Juniper Research, advertisers’ total loss to fraud will rise to $100 billion by 2023.
There are innovative, next-generation tools and solutions in the market that make use of machine learning algorithms to fight all types of fraud schemes, and as marketers grow savvier on the subject, it’s important to team up with the right partner in the fight against fraud.
In 2019, the power of machine learning has helped a great deal to fight back when it comes to fraud. But unfortunately, machine learning technology alone does not guarantee success - the real solution lies in the selection of the right machine learning algorithms that truly address specific fraud issues, the quality and completeness of data used for analysis, and last but not least, the high-quality feature engineering from Data Science teams.
Android vs iOS
Android has publicly-available APIs for anyone interested, which makes it a far more vulnerable operating system than Apple who keeps their APIs under wraps. But Apple is not exempt from attacks, as fraudsters choose different methods of attack, such as click spamming, which doesn’t require the invasion of an actual device.
But Android does seem to be the favored platform for fraudsters as there is Android’s sheer scale of the platform to consider, making it more desirable for device-based attacks.
It’s almost a game of cat and mouse where as soon as marketers shut down one side of the attack, fraudsters shift on their axis and switch to another type of fraud.
Sophisticated bots of unlimited scale
Smart bots will continue to make waves in the app install fraud environment. These smart emulators are capable of unlimited scale in terms of massive attacks, interacting with content, advertising, and other in-app events with human-like behavior.
Given their human-like emulation of in-app behavior, smart bots are wreaking havoc and disrupting the user experience, all while becoming harder to detect.
On the rise, smart bots are considered one of the fastest-growing fraud types making them a definitive cause for concern as they were responsible for approximately 21.5% of all fraud cases.
Fighting ad fraud has an added layer of complexity when it comes to the mobile ecosystem, and it is mainly due to the severe fragmentation inherent to the industry. You see, in mobile, there are different operating systems, devices, media formats, and much more, which provide the perfect playing field for fraudsters to remain undetected.
But the battle against fraud is winnable and there are certain practices you can enforce to fight back, such as an internal fraud analytics team. But the most comprehensive solution against fraud attempts is to use an anti-fraud tool that is effective, accurate and provides a complete analysis of all types of fraud.
Ensure the integrity of your apps by joining forces with a data-driven, machine learning-based solution that helps you secure your marketing efforts against fraud. Join forces, fight fraud, and win.
Ready to take action against mobile ad fraud? Contact us!
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