Everyone knows the internet has its light and dark corners. However, even though most internet users are aware of the existing cyber criminal activities, not many know how to recognize them, which is more than enough to avoid numerous problems.
As a result, cybercrime has become a multibillion-dollar illegal industry, growing in value every year. Ad fraud is one of the best performing cybercriminal activities, so all internet users must know how to recognize it and stay protected online.
If you’d like to know more about ad fraud and how you can ensure 100% protection of your online identity, make sure to stay tuned for more.
What Is Ad Fraud
Ad fraud is one of the easiest, most popular, and lucrative forms of cybercrime. It can be defined as any attempt to use digital advertising networks to gain financial benefit.
Scammers can choose from all kinds of tools and methods to carry out their ad fraud activities. While some use bots for their ad fraud attacks, others simply trick advertising companies and platforms by providing them with false statistics.
The results are pretty much the same regardless of the tool or method ad fraudsters choose – advertising platforms are led to believe fake activities on their networks are real activities coming from real people. Therefore, the proper delivery of ads is massively disrupted.
Furthermore, scammers can trick advertisers and ad networks into paying them money for the fake activity, allowing them to collect financial gains from these illegal activities.
Today, ad fraud holds the #1 spot as the largest and most profitable form of cybercrime. Many predict the industry will evolve and become more sophisticated, quickly reaching a shocking $44 billion by 2022.
Harmful Impacts of Ad Fraud
Naturally, ad fraud activities cause a significant amount of damage to ad networks and companies worldwide. In addition to stealing 20% of global online ad spending, these fraudulent activities also harm companies in other ways. Here are some of the most hazardous impacts of ad fraud:
Regardless of your company’s size, ad fraud costs small, medium, and large businesses money. Whether you invest $1,000 or $100,000 per month into an ad campaign, all businesses expect to return the money spent on online advertising.
However, advertising fraud can easily affect a company’s campaign performance, ROI, capital, success, and, therefore, profit. Even up to 70% of the total marketing budget could be lost to bots, as only 12% of ad impressions can be accounted for.
Besides a substantial financial loss, ad frauds can put businesses into challenging positions. Customers will no longer support the brand, and the company will likely suffer from serious reputation damage. Brands will need a lot of money, time, and effort to restore their previous status and regain the trust of their customers.
Main Types of Ad Fraud
There are multiple types of ad fraud that scammers use. Here are some of the most widely-used ones:
- Click hijacking – scammers redirect clicks from one ad to clicks from a different ad. Therefore, ad companies and businesses get an inaccurate picture of total clicks for a specific ad.
- Hidden ads – ad networks that use their impressions as a payment base can experience hidden ads, which means scammers show ads in such a way that regular users can’t see them.
- Fake apps – quite common in mobile apps, fake apps are shown through ads within other applications, which initiates thousands of app installs.
- Botnet ad fraud – scammers use botnet tools to generate thousands of fake clicks and visits on an ad, depending on what the ad network based its payment on.
Now that we understand the common types of fraud, let’s look at some ways to avoid falling prey to them.
How to Deal With Them
Unfortunately, ad frauds aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. What’s more, they’ll only become more powerful and elevated in the years to come. Ad networks, companies, and customers will have a harder time detecting them, which will lead to more revenue loss and increased reputation risks.
However, there’s a way to protect yourself from falling victim to ad fraud. Residential proxies are multipurpose tools that cover your online trace and ensure complete online anonymity.
Furthermore, residential proxies are the perfect solution for ad verification and ad fraud prevention. With a residential proxy by your side that grants you safety, you can easily detect, avoid, and deal with ad fraud attempts at all times.
In today’s world, where digital marketing is the predominant form of marketing, it’s crucial to follow the steps mentioned above to ensure all your marketing campaigns go according to plan.
Stop ad fraudsters from ruining your marketing projects and collecting your hard-earned money. By using residential proxies, now you can rest assured that your marketing data is correct and up to date.