ad fraud detection

Maximizing ROI

Maximizing ROI: Strategies for Low-Volume Inventory Placements in DV360

In the world of digital marketing, programmatic advertising platforms like DV360 (Display & Video 360) have revolutionized the way advertisers connect with their target audience. However, when it comes to low-volume inventory placements, marketers often face unique challenges. In this article, we will explore the effective strategies for optimizing your digital marketing efforts within DV360 when dealing with low-volume inventory placements. What is Low-Volume Inventory Placements in Programmatic Advertising? Low-volume inventory placements refer to situations where there is limited ad inventory available on specific websites, apps, or placements. This scarcity of ad space can be due to various reasons, including niche audiences, limited content, or geographical constraints. Advertisers often find it challenging to allocate budgets effectively and generate meaningful results in such scenarios. Strategies for Success in Programmatic Advertising Maximizing Low-Volume Inventory Placements: Navigating the realm of low-volume inventory placements within DV360 demands a strategic approach. Every impression in such scenarios holds significant value, necessitating precise utilization of tools and tactics available within marketing and advertising technology. Here’s a breakdown of strategies tailored to optimize these opportunities: Precision Targeting through Audience Segmentation: Unlock the potential of DV360’s audience segmentation capabilities. Craft highly specific audience groups by leveraging both first-party and third-party data. The key lies in reaching the right audience with the right message to maximize impact despite limited ad inventory availability. Dynamic Creative Optimization: Personalization is pivotal. DCO empowers tailoring ad creatives to individual users based on their behaviour, interests, and demographics. Experimentation with diverse ad creatives helps identify the most engaging combinations for your unique audience. Real-Time Bidding (RTB) and Private Marketplaces (PMPs): RTB within DV360 ensures seizing valuable impressions as they arise in low-volume placements. Additionally, establish private marketplaces with publishers for priority access to limited inventory, particularly effective in niche placements. Mobile-Centric Approach and Cross-Device Optimization: Given the higher prevalence of low-volume placements on mobile devices, prioritize optimizing ad campaigns for mobile experiences. Implement cross-device targeting to extend reach across platforms and devices, maximizing the chances of locating available inventory. Continuous Monitoring and Agile Adjustments: The unpredictability of low-volume inventory demands constant vigilance. Regularly monitor campaign performance and dynamically adjust bids, targeting, and creatives based on real-time data insights. Automation via DV360’s rules facilitates instant adjustments under specific conditions. Strategic Budget Allocation and Bid Strategies: Allocate budgets strategically, focusing on placements likely to yield optimal results. Leverage DV360’s predictive modelling to identify and capitalize on these opportunities. Experimentation with different bid strategies, such as target impression share or target CPA, helps optimize budgetary impact. Blacklisting Long-Tail Placements for Enhanced Performance: Initiate the process of blacklisting long-tail placements to curb ad fraud and enhance performance. Removing consistently underperforming placements optimizes campaign efficacy and reallocates the budget toward high-performing avenues. For increased efficiency and to reduce the errors of false positives, opt for an ad fraud detection partner like mFilterIt to identify long-tail placements and curb their impact proactively. Way Forward In conclusion, while low-volume inventory placements within DV360 pose challenges, they also present lucrative prospects. Harness the potential of targeted audience segmentation, dynamic creative optimization, real-time bidding, and mobile-centric approaches. Stay agile, data-driven, and committed to constant monitoring and adaptation to thrive in this dynamic landscape.

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Direct Carrier Billing

Direct Carrier Billing: Complete Guide to Building Seamless & Secure DCB VAS Ecosystem

What is Direct Carrier Billing (DCB)? DCB mobile payment method that allows users to make purchases and pay for digital content, goods, or services directly through their mobile phone bill or prepaid balance. It enables users to make payments without the need for credit or debit cards, making it convenient and accessible for a wide range of users. How does Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) work? DCB relies on the integration between the mobile network operator (MNO), the content provider, and the payment service provider (PSP). When a user wants to make a purchase, they choose the DCB payment option. The user is prompted to confirm the payment, usually through a text message or a pop-up window. The mobile operator verifies the user’s identity and approves the payment. The purchase amount is added to the user’s monthly phone bill or deducted from their prepaid balance. Supported services: DCB is commonly used for various digital content and services, such as mobile apps, games, music streaming, video streaming, eBooks, and more. It is particularly popular for micro-transactions and in-app purchases within mobile apps and games. What are the benefits of direct carrier billing? A seamless user experience One of the key advantages of Direct Carrier Billing is an improved user experience. By eliminating the need for payment card information (credit or debit), users can make purchases quickly and easily, without having to navigate through complicated payment forms. This can be especially important for mobile users, who may be using their device on the go and don’t want to spend time entering their payment information. With DCB, the payment process is seamless and integrated into the mobile experience, making it easier and more convenient for your users to make purchases. Greater security compared to payment cards Another benefit of Direct Carrier Billing is its security features. With DCB users do not need to enter their credit card information or other sensitive data to make a purchase. Instead, the transaction is completed by simply entering the mobile phone number and confirming the payment, which is then added to the user’s monthly mobile phone bill. This reduces the risk of fraud and provides a layer of anonymity that can be attractive to users who are wary of sharing their personal information online. Of course, fraud is an issue when any financial transaction is involved. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities. However, mobile billing anti-fraud solutions can be deployed to protect the mobile billing payment page and block suspicious and fraudulent transactions; giving you and your customers reassurance that everything is being done to protect their accounts. Increases financial inclusion for mobile users Globally 1.4 billion people are unbanked, without access to a financial account. This means they don’t have access to traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, and therefore may struggle to pay for many digital services and products. Direct Carrier Billing removes this barrier by allowing users to pay for goods and services via their mobile phone bill or pre-paid SIM. This makes it easier for users with limited access to credit or bank accounts to make online purchases, opening up a new world of opportunities for digital content and services. This is advantageous for merchants looking to expand into markets where a significant percentage of the population remains unbanked, such as in Iraq where only 22.7% of the population have a bank account compared to 10.30% who have a mobile phone connection and 75.0% who use the internet. For mobile operators, facilitating DCB transactions helps them provide additional services for their unbanked customers, and increases customer satisfaction and retention. Higher conversion rates In addition to increasing financial inclusion, Direct Carrier Billing can also lead to increased conversions. DCB transactions involve minimal clicks and form filling. Whereas with traditional payment methods, users may abandon their cart if they encounter any difficulties during the payment process. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as complicated checkout procedures or concerns about security. With Direct Carrier Billing the payment process is streamlined and easy to use, reducing the likelihood of cart abandonment and increasing the chances of a successful conversion. New revenue streams DCB allows mobile operators to earn a commission on transactions made by their customers. This commission can be a percentage of the transaction value or a fixed fee per transaction. As more customers use this method to make purchases, you will also benefit from increased transaction volumes. This can result in higher revenue from transaction fees and potentially lead to negotiating higher commission rates with merchants due to increased volume. By developing stronger partnerships with merchants by facilitating DCB as a payment option, there may also be increased revenue-sharing opportunities and deeper integration with merchant services. Increase customer retention Finally, Direct Carrier Billing helps make customers ‘sticky’. By providing an easy-to-use payment method that is integrated with the user’s mobile phone bill, you can increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. This can be especially important in an industry where customer retention is a key factor in generating revenue. DCB can also provide a platform for cross-promotion of other services, such as loyalty programs, value-added services, and promotions, which can result in increased sales revenue as well as increased customer retention. So, if you’re looking to enhance the user experience and generate revenue, Direct Carrier Billing can provide your customers with additional services and products, with a seamless, convenient, and secure payment method. DCB vs Credit cards DCB (Direct Carrier Billing) and credit cards are two different payment methods with distinct characteristics. Here’s a comparison between DCB and credit cards: Accessibility: DCB is often more accessible than credit cards because it allows users to make purchases using their mobile phones, without the need for a traditional banking relationship or credit history. This makes it particularly useful in regions with low credit card penetration or limited access to banking services. Payment Process: With DCB, the purchase amount is charged to the user’s mobile phone bill or deducted from their prepaid balance.

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unmasking-device-spoofing

Fraud Exposed Series: Unmasking Device Spoofing and Its Impact on Advertisers!

Your ad campaign data is probably skewed. The platforms you think are driving results may be delivering numbers, but there’s a chance they may be only delivering numbers. The reason? Ad fraud. Ad fraud takes many forms, and device spoofing is one of the most common ones. Spoofing allows fraudsters to hide behind a veil and carry out fraudulent activities. Unfortunately, because of the lack of awareness and ability to detect device spoofing, advertisers lose millions of dollars to ad fraud. This article will solve both of those problems. In the upcoming sections, you will learn what device spoofing is, how it is carried out, how it impacts advertisers, and how you can protect your business from mobile ad fraud that uses device spoofing. Let’s jump right in and start with the basics. What is Device Spoofing? The word “spoof” literally means “hoax” or “trick”. Device spoofing is the act of tricking advertisers by presenting a device as a different device. Let’s understand this with a simple example. If you are running an ad for app downloads, you are only interested in traffic coming from mobile devices. With device spoofing, fraudsters can present a server in their data center as a mobile device visiting the publisher’s website and clicking on your ad. Fraudsters employ a variety of technical processes to achieve this. One such method is known as User Agent (UA) spoofing. The User-Agent string of every device carries many data points that are used to identify the device. These include the device make and model, processor information, location information (based on IP address), and information about the operating system running on the device. UA spoofing allows fraudsters to falsify this information. Most advertisers also use a technique called device fingerprinting to identify the devices clicking on their ad and subsequently accessing their website or landing page. This includes going beyond the UA string and looking at additional information to identify devices. This may include GPS information, caller ID, and other technical device information like unique Android/Apple ID, graphic card information, etc. However, using techniques similar to UA spoofing, fraudsters can fake almost every piece of information associated with a device. Surprisingly, UA spoofing is a useful tool in software development circles. Developers employ it to test their applications on different devices without actually having to access them on other devices. Unfortunately, this means that UA spoofing is a relatively easy undertaking, especially with the right developer tools. Even fraudsters with limited resources can use this technique to commit mobile ad fraud. What’s more alarming is that this exact method can be utilized to get around a large variety of online security protocols. This means that the use of device spoofing can be used to conduct a variety of fraudulent activities including, but not limited to: Advertising click fraud Malware injection Spam attacks Account hijack Card fraud Online advertisers are one of the biggest targets of device spoofing-led fraudulent activities. How does device spoofing impact advertisers? As mentioned earlier, committing ad fraud using device spoofing is relatively easy. There is device spoofing software available on the dark web. One can obtain such software for as little as $130. Combining the abilities of this software with a VPN network, fraudsters can easily commit thousands of dollars worth of fraud in a matter of a few hours. This has made committing ad fraud so easy that many fraudsters use this method as simply a way to make some extra cash. However, this can mean a collective loss of billions of dollars in ad spending for advertisers. Alarmingly, this loss isn’t the only negative impact that advertisers experience because of device spoofing and fraud. Besides the obvious loss, device spoofing also messes with the data advertisers use to make campaign-related decisions. For instance, running an app promotion campaign and seeing a lot of traffic from iPhones may motivate you to push a larger percentage of your budget on App Store advertising. However, if a certain percentage of this traffic is fake, then this decision will not deliver the results you may be anticipating. This, in turn, can lead to more wastage of ad budgets. In other words, device spoofing results in the loss of advertising budgets and leads advertisers to misjudged conclusions that subsequently lead to bad decisions. Why is it essential to take action against device spoofing? Device spoofing, and ad fraud, in general, must be stopped to ensure advertisers continue to place their trust in digital advertising. This is necessary to ensure authentic publishers can thrive online. Online advertising presents a lucrative opportunity for advertisers of all sizes. It’s a technology that supports small and local businesses and enables large businesses to expand quickly. It levels the playing field and enables small advertisers to compete with the giants of their industry. If ad fraud isn’t controlled in time and advertisers lose their trust in online advertising, the future of digital advertising will indeed be bleak. Device spoofing is a useful technique that is being misused to conduct fraud. Since it is relatively easy, it presents a lucrative opportunity for those with questionable ethics and a will to make quick money. We’ve already discussed how device spoofing results in a dual loss for advertisers. However, another party this practice hurts is authentic publishers. Because some publishers with malicious intent, it becomes difficult for advertisers to trust any publisher or advertising network. Practices like device spoofing pose a big threat to the overall reputation of the digital advertising industry. How to protect your app from device spoofing? Putting a stop to device spoofing is necessary for advertisers. Unfortunately, there aren’t many manual ways to track instances of device spoofing and avoid fraud. Advertisers will need to depend on an ad fraud detection. Using such a tool to track and block ad fraud isn’t just more convenient. It ensures that your ads and your app are completely off-limits for fraudulent traffic. For you, this means better use of your ad budget and access to more accurate

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click-spamming

Know the Difference Series: Click Spamming and Click Injection Explained

Digital ad fraud is growing at breakneck speed. This year, marketers are expected to lose over $100 billion to ad fraud collectively. The situation is scary, and the future seems bleak. However, many marketers and brands still successfully turn a blind eye to ad fraud, and they do it because of a lack of awareness. Awareness of the different types of ad fraud can help you be more vigilant and cautious towards the rising threats and help you save your ad budgets from getting wasted. With this blog, we hope to help you bring this awareness. As part of the “Know the Difference series”, first, we will discuss two of the most common types of mobile ad fraud prevalent in the industry. These are click spamming and click injection. While both terms may seem similar, they follow different procedures to carry out ad fraud and steal your marketing budget. Let’s look at them in more detail: Know the difference: Click Spamming and Click Injection What is Click Spamming? Click spamming is a relatively primitive way to commit ad fraud. As the name suggests, click spamming is the act of generating a large number of fake clicks on an ad. This type of fraud mostly takes place on mobile apps but isn’t limited to them. In some cases, click spamming can also be observed on websites accessed through mobile devices. In most cases, an unsuspecting user downloads an app laced with malware. In others, the websites visited by the users are operated by fraudsters. The malware allows fraudsters to click on ads without the user’s knowledge. This kind of fraud can take many forms. Some examples are: The user never sees the ads, but they are live in the background, and the fraudsters are clicking on them. This is also known as click flooding. Apps running in the background can generate clicks anytime or throughout the day (and night). Common examples of such apps include launchers, battery-saving apps, and memory-cleaner apps. Some fraudsters mask views as engagement by the user and get paid for that engagement. And in some cases, fraudsters may also send clicks from the device to different vendors to collect a payout. While Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store have security measures to detect and ban apps loaded with malware, fraudsters have found innovative ways to bypass them. For instance, some apps download malware after the app has been downloaded on a user’s device by disguising it as an update for the app. Impact of Click Spamming The most apparent impact of click spamming is the wasted advertising budget. However, click spamming has a deeper, much more dangerous impact on advertisers- skewed advertising data. Because of click spamming, certain advertising platforms and apps (publishers) may deliver an impressive number of clicks on your ad. When this is reflected in the reporting of your campaigns, it may make said ad platforms and publishers appear more impactful than they are. This keeps the advertisers in the dark and they make business decisions based on these skewed metrics which eventually impacts the performance of the digital ad campaigns. Moreover, the advertisers also keep spending on these platforms under the impression that it is providing them with performance. What is Click Injection? Click injection is an ad fraud technique similar to click spamming but more sophisticated. For advertisers, that means that detecting and avoiding instances of click injection is exponentially more difficult than detecting click spamming. Instead of frantically clicking on an ad, click injection uses a single click to conduct organic traffic poaching. This is done by ‘injecting’ a click right at the point of download. Fraudsters make use of Android apps to listen to “download broadcasts”. Simply put, these broadcasts are sent by Android apps whenever a user downloads a malicious app that has an Android broadcaster that notifies the fraudsters about a new install. When the fraudsters are notified of an app install, they ‘inject’ a click right before the installation is complete. When this happens, the fraudulent app gets access to the user’s unique device tracking code. Using this code, the fraudsters can make their click appear authentic. By doing this, the fraudsters receive the credit (and the payout) for the app install, even though the app install is usually organic. Impact of Click Injection This sophisticated fraud technique not only leads to the wastage of ad spending but also hampers the organic traffic of the advertiser. Not just the advertisers, but the genuine publishers are also victims of click injection. Due to organic traffic stealing, they lose payout to a fraudulent install. Furthermore, click injections attribute organic downloads to fraudulent websites and apps. This can mess with the ad reporting data advertisers use to make decisions about their future campaigns. Using this skewed data, advertisers may continue spending their budgets on ineffective platforms, resulting in more wasted ad spend. This also costs advertisers in the form of lost opportunities by diverting their attention from other effective platforms that may deliver better results. How can advertisers protect their ad spends? As mentioned earlier, protection begins with awareness. Now that you know about click spamming and click injection, you can look at ways to detect these activities and take corrective actions. While click spamming can be detected manually, click injection is a sophisticated form of mobile ad fraud that is hard to detect by humans. These sophisticated fraud techniques are discreet, and human-like which makes it difficult to detect with general ad fraud detection practices. For these reasons, marketers valuing holistic protection must look beyond basic ad fraud tracking techniques to prevent mobile ad fraud. mFilterIt’s advanced ad fraud detection tool helps eliminate invalid traffic across the funnel using AI/ML and data science capabilities. The solution identifies sophisticated fraud patterns based on device, behavioral, and heuristic checks and ensures that the fraudulent traffic doesn’t seep through the funnel. Conclusion Click fraud and click injection both affect marketers at multiple levels. Wasting their current advertising budgets to skewing campaign performance data that leads to subpar optimization

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ad-fraud-detection

How To Combat Bot Traffic with Google Analytics?

The word ‘Bot’ can be both good and bad in the digital marketing ecosystem. There are good bots like the search engine crawlers which help to improve your website performance. On the other hand, there are bad bots that are used by cybercriminals to commit unethical activities like ad fraud and stealing advertisers’ ad spends. Half of the internet’s traffic consists of bots, of which 65% are bad bots. In recent events, bad bots have costed brands more than just money. The latest news of Elon Musk dropping out of a $44 bn deal with Twitter due to fake accounts is a sign of how deep-rooted the issue is. As a marketer, you need to be aware of who is visiting your website. When analyzing data, it is important to ensure that your data doesn’t consist of bot traffic. With the help of Google Analytics, you can detect and filter the bot traffic to see cleaner data points. Thinking about how to detect bot traffic on Google Analytics? We have included the most common tell-tale signs to detect bot traffic on your Google Analytics. 4 Signs to detect Bot Traffic on Google Analytics 1. Unusual Traffic If your website visit increases from an average number of 1,000 to 20,000 or you see a similar spike in a short interval of time without any marketing efforts or unknown reasons, it is not good news. Your website traffic is polluted with bots if you see a sudden spike in your website traffic, and there are certain things you might notice: Page views less than 1 second on single pages No location or location set of a botnet Keyword searched or domain name with the word “Bot” 2. Unknown Referral Traffic Referral traffic refers to the traffic that comes to the site by clicking on a link in another domain or platform. It is also used as a medium for bot traffic. These sources can be detected manually on Google Analytics. Some of the common signs of bot-generated referral traffic are: Sites with spammy-looking domains Referral sites with unusually high visits 3. Unusually Low Page-Time Unlike the human way of browsing, the bots are programmed in a way that they behave in the same pattern. When looking at the Google analytics data, check for sources that have a page visit time of less than a minute. Bots are programmed to just add a visit to the page which is usually 1 or 2 seconds maximum. It is obvious that a human will not come and stay on a page for less than 1 second, and hence you can detect the traffic generated by bots. 4. Strange Metrics The classic sign of bot activity on your site is if you see something at an extreme or unusually low. For instance, if you see bounce rates of sources at 0% or 100% then there is a high chance this visit is from a fraudulent source. Is detecting bot traffic on Google Analytics enough? Google Analytics allows you to exclude bot traffic to see a clear picture of your data without fraud traffic. With the help of Google Analytics, you can get a better insight into how much website traffic is genuine to make a better business decision. This can help you exclude the bot traffic showing on your analytics data, but the real impact of bot traffic will still exist. Thus, just the bot traffic detection on Google Analytics is not enough. To protect your websites and ad campaigns from the impact of bot traffic, you need an advanced ad traffic validation suite. This can prevent bots from draining your ad budget on invalid traffic and skewing your data. Advanced Problems Need Advanced Solutions The general bots are easy to detect by analyzing the unusual bot patterns. However, the sophisticated bots are programmed in a way that they can easily replicate human behavior. And thus, an advanced ad fraud detection tool becomes necessary to combat this problem. mFilterIt’s ad traffic validation suite detects bot traffic in real-time and eliminates them to prevent further wastage of ad spends. With the capabilities of AI, ML, and data science, the solution detects and analyses the bot patterns based on various parameters and blacklists them. Takeaways There is no one way to fight ad fraud and win against the fraudsters. With the help of analytics, you can take better business decisions by excluding the bot traffic sources from your data points. With the right mix of both analytics and ad fraud detection, you can combat ad fraud attacks and ensure that only real humans are viewing and clicking your ads and visiting your website.

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Travel Meta Search Engines

Travel Meta Search Engines – How Fraudsters Are Ruining It?

After 2 long years, the travel industry is taking shape again. And this time it has come up with a hot trend. Travel metasearch engines have been in existence for quite some time. However, due to the rush among travelers in the post-pandemic era, it has become more relevant in the current times. With its core features like price comparison, it is a hotshot among travelers. And not just for travelers, these platforms offer plenty of advantages to hotels and OTAs (Online travel agencies). However, even these platforms are not safe from the cyber traps set by fraudsters. Know in detail about the travel metasearch engines and how fraud happens on these platforms. What are travel metasearch engines? A travel metasearch engine is a platform that serves as a price comparison website. The customers can compare hotel and flight prices in real-time. These platforms work like an aggregators taking data from different sources across the internet like the OTA’s (online travel agents) or directly from the hotels. However, the travel metasearch platforms are not booking channels. They just serve as a search engine platform for various travel booking channels. What is their revenue model? The revenue model of travel metasearch engines is the same as the digital advertising platforms. Their revenue comes from metrics like CPC (Cost per click), CPI (cost per impression), CPA (cost per acquisition), and hybrid ads (a combination of CPA and CPC). Is Meta Search a passing trend or future of travel? The pandemic has brought a massive change in the behavior’s of the travelers. Along with the safety and hygiene, they are looking for more flexible deals and transparency in the price when planning a vacation. To address these changes, the metasearch platforms have become more relevant with the current times. Apart from being a one-stop platform to show the best and budget-friendly deals, it is helpful across travel means and hotels. The metasearch platforms address the core problems of travel portals. After the break of 2 years, the hotels and OTA’s want to be discovered and visible to potential travelers. To fulfill this gap, metasearch offers both discoverability and visibility on its platforms. They also add important information like ratings and reviews for the travelers to make an informed decision. And with travelers taking more informed decisions and newer hotels & OTAs emerging, these metasearch platforms are here to stay for a long time. However, there is a catch. The meta-search platforms also come under the radar of cybercriminals. Fraud in Metasearch Platforms The metasearch platforms charge a cost per click or a commission from the advertisers. This offers a golden opportunity for fraudsters to exploit the system leading to the wastage of advertisers’ ad budgets and the manipulation of their data. How Does Fraud Happen in Travel Metasearch Platforms? Bot Traffic: The fraudsters program bots to engage with the links of the advertisers on the meta-search platforms. These bots generate fake clicks and inflate the click rate on the advertiser’s website. On one hand, the advertiser receives a high number of clicks, but the conversion numbers remain low. In addition to this, the advertiser has to pay for every click to the metasearch platforms. VPN Proxy: Apart from generating bot traffic, the fraudsters also use VPNs to fake locations and IP addresses. This technique makes it difficult for the advertiser to differentiate between a genuine click and a bot-generated click and they end up with manipulated data. Competitor Clicks:  In some cases, some travel websites also send bot traffic to their competitor’s listing to manipulate their data. They program the bots to generate fake clicks for the website and keep them under the impression that they are getting genuine traffic. Impact of Fraud Compromised Data: Fraudsters program bots to engage with the links listed on the metasearch engines. These bots generate fake clicks which makes the advertiser believe that they are getting traffic. However, despite the high number of clicks, the travel platforms do not see any improvement in conversions. Influx in CTR: Due to the impression generated by bots, the CTR is impacted directly and misleads the advertiser. They are under the impression that they are getting genuine traffic. Whereas the reality is that they are only getting invalid traffic. How can we make a difference? We use the capabilities of AI, ML, and data science to detect bot patterns in the traffic coming from the meta-search platforms. With a deep analysis of the data, we identify the fraudulent IP addresses and blacklist them. This ensures that they will not impact the traffic of the advertiser in the future. Final Words Travel is all set to see massive growth after a halt of two years. And while it is an opportunity for hotels and OTAs to gear up and bring more traffic to their website, someone is watching their every move. Fraudsters are not just stealing money from ads, but they are also on a spree to manipulate the growth of advertisers listing themselves on metasearch platforms. To ensure that your money is not wasted on invalid and non-converting traffic, get in touch with an ad fraud detection & prevention solution provider like mFilterIt and weed out fraud from your campaign data. Get in touch with our experts today!

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genuine-users

You’re Losing Genuine Users. Know Why?

Imagine you’re running an ad campaign to generate leads for your clothing brand. You have also partnered with an ad fraud detection solution to detect and eliminate invalid traffic. However, one of your legitimate consumers raises a concern. Their card was blocked while making the transaction. Who could be responsible for this? You can blame the fraud detection vendor as they might have flagged a genuine consumer assuming it to be a fraudulent source. While ad fraud prevention is an essential element to eliminate fraudulent sources from ad campaigns, there must be a holistic way to differentiate between a genuine user and a bot without compromising the security of the ad campaigns. This mistake not only costs the brand their revenue, but also the trust of a legitimate user. Know how brands are impacted by this and what you must look for in an ad fraud detection vendor to avoid the case of false positives. What is a false positive? A false positive happens when a legitimate transaction is flagged as suspicious resulting in declining of payment or blocking of a genuine account. As a result, a request from a genuine customer is identified as a fraudulent source. This error happens when a non-fraudulent transaction is flagged by a fraud detection system resulting in the decline of the transaction. Why do false positives take place? The fraud detection systems are programmed to detect fraud patterns in a campaign. However, sometimes the system fails to accurately differentiate between a legitimate and a fraudulent request. As a result, the brand has to bear the collateral damage of false positives. To reduce the consequences of false positives, organizations have experimented with different approaches to try and differentiate between a legitimate and fraudulent user. Based on a checklist This list includes the details like IP addresses, email addresses, and Device IDs that have been identified and marked as either “safe” or “unsafe”. For example, if an IP address is flagged for being a source of malicious or fraudulent activity, then it will be “blacklisted”. Unfortunately, these lists are no longer viable to detect fast-evolving fraud. These lists require continuous refreshing as they get outdated in a short span of time. And these manually designed lists are often imprecise, corrupted, or at the worst expired. As a result, these reputation lists often lead to an increase in the number of false positives. Based on Rules The rules engines are software that is programmed to take actions based on specific criteria. For example, if a business has made a rule check to analyze the billing country and IP country. In this case, any mismatch will be an indication of a malicious account. These rules can be effective in some cases, but it has many limitations. The rules are highly reactive, and the results are based on past experiences. Furthermore, the rules are hard to manage especially in the case of large-scale data. As a result, the false positive number goes up. Based on Rule-based Machine Learning In this process, a training dataset is processed with the help of AI and ML. In this case, all the possible outcomes are programmed with the correct answers to train the algorithm. With the help of supervised machine learning, the brands can detect certain patterns and insights from a set of data. This is further used to make predictions about future outcomes. This is a strong tool for fraud detection, but it has its own limitations. For example, in SML the algorithms require a certain command to perform their tasks. This limits the ability to detect new and unknown fraud attacks. And as the fraudsters adapt to new techniques at a faster pace, it is impossible for an SML-based solution to keep pace. Why do brands need to act against false positives? Friction in users: Due to false positives, a genuine customer becomes the biggest victim. The most common case is when a customer attempts to pay to make a purchase, but for some unknown reason, the payment gets declined. A decline of a payment for an interested user can turn into a case of inconvenience and they drop out to purchase from a different brand or platform. Reputational damage: According to a report, 38% of online shoppers abandon their purchases when asked for an additional security check. They consider switching to a different brand when they experience poor service. Legitimate customers consider multiple layers of security and payment declines as an insult and often don’t take it in a positive light. Due to the inconvenience, sometimes they also end up spreading negative word-of-mouth which is a nightmare for the brands and tarnishes their brand reputation. Loss in revenue: Due to false-positive cases, not just the genuine consumers get impacted but also the brands. The brands lose the real customers and the potential revenue from genuine sales. In this case, the credit card companies have to bear the cost as they don’t get their fees. Questions to Ask your Ad Fraud Vendor to Reduce False Positives Do they analyze the entire lifecycle to ensure comprehensive protection? Do they look at all the possible types of fraud attacks? Do they identify and take preventive actions for new & emerging threats? Do they differentiate between legitimate and fraudulent activity in real-time? How mFilterIt ensure to reduce false positives? When detecting fraudulent sources in the ad campaigns, we expect an average of 4-5% false-positive cases. However, to ensure that the brand doesn’t have to lose genuine customers to protect its ad campaigns from fraudsters, our ad traffic validation suite ensures to focus on various parameters like: Deeper Fraud checks​ Evaluation for every data set to make a decision on​ Prioritization for sources that will convert ​ Able to detect sophisticated BOTS and emerging threats Analysis based on Behavioural and Deterministic data Conclusion A true ad fraud detection and prevention solution must be effective enough to help the brand in different parameters. A successful fraud detection will happen for a brand when it enhances the customer experience and nurtures them while keeping

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Ad Fraud Detection

Domain Spoofing Not Just Impact Advertisers, But Also Publishers. Know-How?

Imagine someone impersonating you and stealing all your money. In the digital advertising ecosystem, fraudsters are sitting behind the cloak to do the same with your ad spending with domain spoofing. It is one of the common forms of scams committed by fraudsters. However, it not only manipulates your digital ad campaign data and drains an advertiser’s ad budget. It also leaves a deep impact on the reputation and revenue of a publisher. If you don’t want to be in this stage, learn how domain spoofing may impact your brand and what the are possibilities to curb it. What is Domain Spoofing? This is a type of phishing scam where a fraud publisher disguises itself as a premium publisher in a programmatic marketplace. By spoofing a premium publisher, the ad impressions generated are more valuable and the demand is also high. On one hand, the advertiser is under the impression that their ads are shown on premium websites. However, the advertiser’s ads are shown on low-quality websites for the bots. Usually, the fraudsters create a domain that closely resembles the URL of a genuine publisher. They not only create fake domains but also make a duplicate copy of a website’s content. Impact of Domain Spoofing Domain spoofing heavily impacts both advertisers and publishers. Not just monetarily, but it also has many other long-term consequences. On Advertisers Invalid Traffic: When the advertiser’s ad is shown on illegitimate and spoofed websites, they attract invalid traffic coming to these websites. This not only leads to wastage of ad spending but also impacts the campaign’s SEO. Damaged Reputation: Brand reputation is one of the most valuable assets for any company. In the case of domain spoofing, the customers are often unaware of the counterfeit products being sold by fraudulent websites. And when the quality deters which happens quite often in the case of fake products, the customers often blame the original brand. They lose their trust in the brand and often write bad reviews online which directly impacts the brand’s reputation. Not just this, counterfeit products can also impact the health and safety of the end consumers. This can be especially dangerous in the case of FMCG and Beauty products. As the product and packaging are identical, the consumer may not be able to differentiate. And if in any case, the products can cause any skin infection or other health problems it can be havoc and can cause serious repercussions on the brand’s reputation. On Publishers Loss of Revenue: Due to domain spoofing, the publishers lose the revenue coming from ads as the website running on the programmatic platforms is not theirs. Stolen Identity: Not just the revenue, domain spoofing also impacts the brand reputation of the publisher. Like identity fraud, the spoofed domain of a publisher must face the consequences of brand safety and unexpected abysmal conversion rates of the fraudulent sites that are using its name. High chances of getting blacklisted/blocked: As the buyers are not able to analyze the RTB data, they inadvertently block the high-quality publishers seeing their domains flagged due to brand safety or illegal content. Due to domain masking, the reputation of the publisher and their credit score is impacted which further impacts the revenue. How does Ads.txt help to reduce Domain Spoofing by up to 10%? In 2017, IAB introduced ads.txt to bring a certain level of transparency to the programmatic advertising ecosystem. It is a simple text file that publishers insert into their root domains. With Ads.txt, the publishers can inform the companies that they are authorized to sell their ad inventory. Every publisher’s ads.txt file works like a public ledger that buyers can use to cross-reference and ensure that the inventory they are investing will redirect to the claimed domain. Though the websites with Ads.txt have a low rate of IVT (Invalid traffic), they are not 100% fraud-free. How Fraudsters Manipulate the Ads.txt? Blank Ads.txt Files: When the ad exchanges declared that they would not allow any websites without Ads.txt files to continue selling, the fraudsters found a different route. To crack this, they started adding fake or blank ads.txt files to their domains to continue making money. They were able to do this because the exchanges only focused on checking the existence of ads.txt files on the domains and not the actual content of the ads.txt file. Ads.txt Files with Errors: It is not possible to make errors in the Ads.txt file unintentionally. These are deliberate acts committed by fraudsters. For instance, publisher “A” works with deceitful “supply-side platforms” (SSP) to sell ad inventory using the same seller ID that is used by other mainstream sites to sell from the same SSP. This very easily launders the impressions because the ad exchange cannot see “Publisher A” making any payment to the SSP. Ads.txt Syndication: This one is the latest in the list where fraudsters rent an ads.txt file from an established seller. In this case, the fraudulent sites make a deal with the owner of the vetted ads.txt. file to run inventory through them. These sellers even take payment from the ad exchanges. And on the other hand, they make under-the-table payments to the sub-sites that don’t have their seller IDs. This way, the sub-sites never show up as paid for the ad exchange because they have never paid to these Seller IDs of strange sites. The only thing the ad exchanges see is the increase in volume which comes through the suppliers who have been in business with them for years. How Does mFilterIt Protect Your Brand from Domain Spoofing? Our Ad Traffic Validation suite can ensure that your digital ad campaigns don’t have to become a victim of domain spoofing in the future. We at mFilterIt use the capabilities of AI, ML, and Data Science to detect spoofed domains by reviewing your webpage. Once detected, for prevention, we ensure to blacklist these domains to avoid further ad spending on irrelevant traffic and protect your digital ad campaigns. Conclusion Along with the rise of digital advertising, fraudsters are also becoming smart to

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