ad fraud solution

Digital Advertising Ecosystem

Need For Frequency Capping and Transparency in The Digital Advertising Ecosystem

Reach and Frequency are the two key metrics on which the success of a brand campaign hinges. It’s like instead of conveying your message to 50 people 2 times, you are just sharing the same message 5 times to just 25 people. That results in more impressions but less reach. Therefore, ensuring frequency caps are enforced becomes paramount. So, are your ads getting served to the same audience too many times? Did you know a significant number of impressions are being served on a small number of devices? This challenge prevails across the OTT environments and other mobile app-based placements. This is simply due to a lack of cookie-based measurements on these (cookies don’t work on apps). Let’s demystify the intricacies surrounding metrics like Reach and Frequency and unveil how monitoring frequency capping violations can not only enhance campaign performance but also instill trust in the audience. The Deceptive World of Frequency Measurement Traditionally, marketers have relied on Ad Servers for accurate frequency measurement. Yet, the intricacies within the digital space world present a different narrative. Cookies, which have long been the stalwart of web tracking, lose their efficacy, necessitating a shift to more elusive identifiers like Device ID (Google Advertising ID or IDFA) which can be triggered by the publisher platforms (apps and OTTs). Here is an example of a recent campaign on a LEADING OTT player for a leading meat and seafood brand. As you can see 76.70% of the impressions were violating FCAP thresholds, which means that roughly half of the consumers saw the campaign much more than the required frequency. Another interesting angle is that as the campaign becomes longer, the FCAP violation keeps increasing. Within 11 days it was 76.62% but in the second part of the campaign, it increased to 83.82% in just 3 days [Ref. Fig:1.1]. This means that if you have a longer-running campaign, your control on FCAPs becomes lower and the campaign ends up reaching the same set of audiences. Fig 1.1: F-breach detected for Advertiser #1 Advertiser #1, utilizing a DSP, believed in the presumed capabilities of the publisher. When this is broken down with Device ID-wise numbers, you can see that some consumers saw the ad 15,145 times. Compared to the client threshold of 3, this is a MASSIVE violation of the cap. Imagine the consumer who saw the same ad 15,145 times! The person might remember the brand, but maybe not in a very friendly manner. Fig. 1.2: Top Device ID Frequency Observation What did the DSP’s FCAP report show? It masked this reality, showing an average of 3, leading to wasted ad spend and irritated consumers. Why? Since they didn’t consider Device ID as the parameter (even though it was passed) but used IP. User Agent as a way to measure FCAP. Also, they reported on AVERAGE FCAP which is misleading and doesn’t show the spread of the wastage. The Problem Seen by All Fig. 1.3: Findings by Fou Analytics The problem of frequency violations prevails and can be attested as a genuine issue in the digital ecosystem. According to an analysis done by FouAnalytics, there have been grave scenarios where invalid traffic was seen loading ads and taking active measures to defeat frequency capping. Bots are detected to be rotating device IDs and cookies to trick the ad servers into serving more ads to the bot. And the number of times bots see an ad is surprisingly shocking. As per the findings, there have been instances where as many as 342 times an ad is seen by a bad bot. [Ref to Fig:1.3] Thereby, Frequency Capping intelligence emerges as a critical solution. It serves as a safeguard against overexposure, preventing users from being bombarded with the same ads repeatedly. The efficacy of this practice, however, relies on advertisers actively engaging with publishers and fostering a transparent ecosystem for advertising on Mobile app platforms. Solution to Frequency Capping in Mobile App Platforms One effective strategy involves tracking Google Advertising ID (GAID) and device ID to validate genuine users and identify frequency capping violations. At mFilterIt, we set a VAST tag-based campaign where in real time the VAST requests which were violating the threshold were blocked and the wastage controlled. Here in another case of a leading consumer goods brand, the publisher tried to push up to 10% of requests which violated the FCAPs, but due to VAST request blocking in real-time, the campaign was protected and impressions were prevented on repeat users, money was saved and the campaign performance improved. Table 01: A multination consumer goods company ads on a social networking/short video platform The mFilterIt ad fraud solution also identifies the trends in VAST distribution trends and request blocking trends along with impressions distribution by location and impression and event trends. Way Forward As the digital advertising landscape continues to evolve, the need for frequency capping and transparency becomes increasingly apparent. Navigate the complexities of the app-based ecosystem and ensure that campaigns are not only impactful but also delivered with integrity and transparency across the digital ecosystem.

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How Lead Validation Can Optimize Your Lead-Generation Process? – Know in Detail

Having a sound digital growth plan is perhaps the most surefire way for any modern business to succeed. Today, companies have several methods to generate leads at their disposal. They enjoy room for experimentation and finding a lead-generation tactic that suits their needs and abilities. However, success with online lead generation heavily depends on the quality of leads. If a business manages to generate a large quantity of leads but the leads are fake or irrelevant, it can quickly lead to a different outcome. Bad leads don’t only result in wasted marketing spend, they hurt your business in other ways, such as: Wasting your sales team’s time on leads that won’t convert. Similarly, a lot of company resources may be unnecessarily allocated to chasing dead-end leads. Bad leads mess with the marketing campaign’s performance data. This limits your ability to optimize your campaigns. In fact, bad leads may sometimes lead marketers to make decisions that actively cause waste of ad spend. If a business has been a victim of a type of fraud that uses stolen personal information, they unknowingly start contacting the leads. This may be seen as a nuisance by some recipients who, in extreme cases, may take legal action against the business in question. A lot of bad leads are generated as a result of lead generation fraud. Being aware of the different types of lead generation fraud and how they are carried out is the first step toward protecting your business against bad leads. Techniques used to commit lead generation fraud This year, the total global digital ad spend is expected to cross the $600 billion dollar mark. From a fraudster’s perspective, this translates to a handsome incentive to get creative and look for new ways to scam advertisers and make some quick money. Here are some of the most popular techniques used to commit lead generation fraud: 1. Bot Fraud Bot fraud is most prevalent in the case of cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-lead (CPL) lead generation campaigns. The fraudsters operate large networks of bots that they use to commit click fraud. However, the use of bots has been recorded in cases of social media fraud (generating fake engagement or followers). In other cases, bots have been used to fill fake information into lead generation forms. The ultimate objective of using bots is to generate a fake lead and attribute its credit to the fraudsters who get paid by the advertiser. Bot fraud is one of the oldest techniques used by fraudsters and has evolved greatly over time. Modern-day bots are backed by complex algorithms that enable them to emulate human behavior and scam advertisers. 2. Device Spoofing Device spoofing is the act of using one device to impersonate many unique devices. Fraudsters use a device to generate fake engagement or a fake lead by clicking on an ad. In some cases, fraudsters use a fake form to collect relevant personal information from real users. They use bots to fill in fake information in a lead generation form. They are credited for this bad lead and get paid. Then, they use different browsers and reset their device’s operating system (OS) to make it appear as a new device. The same device is then used to perform actions that lead to payouts. This process can be repeated indefinitely. Modern fraudsters use sophisticated techniques to execute device spoofing, enabling them to get past the security measures adopted by lead aggregators and affiliate networks. 3. Incent Fraud Many advertisers offer incentives or rewards to generate leads. For instance, a banking app may offer some cashback to first-time users. While often effective, incentive-based campaigns can quickly become victims of fraud, especially when the business is partnering with affiliates. Many affiliates use incentive campaigns to maximize their earnings unethically. Affiliates advertise the incentive associated with installing an app and don’t talk about the app itself. This may motivate the wrong kind of people to download the app, who may uninstall it after receiving the reward. This results in a waste of spend for the advertiser but the affiliate ends up making money. In other cases, affiliates use platforms like Telegram to promote applications with incorrect messaging to lure users to fill the lead or sign up for the app. 4. Fake Accounts using disposable numbers/emails Many fraudsters use disposed phone numbers and email information to create fake accounts and commit fraud. This doesn’t just lead to wasted ad spend and skewed metrics, in some cases, it also leads to a bad experience for genuinely interested leads. Fake accounts can also be used to commit referral fraud at such a large scale that it prevents genuine users from getting the benefit from such a campaign. How Lead Validation can protect your ad campaigns? For a long time, advertisers had limited ways to combat lead generation fraud. They had to depend on the tools and features offered by affiliate networks and lead aggregators and manually look for instances that looked like bot activity or fake account activity. This was time-consuming and was not really a foolproof way to protect against fraud. Fortunately, things have changed. These days, advertisers have access to sophisticated ad fraud solution like mFilterIt’s lead scoring tool. It uses AI and ML capabilities to identify instances of fraudulent activity in real-time in the CRM and mark their junk. This information can help avoid wastage of ad spend and even improve the ROI from your lead generation efforts. Way Forward Ad fraud is the harsh reality associated with the ease that comes with generating leads online, and prevention is the only cure. Understanding lead gen fraud and how it can be prevented is not optional for modern marketers, and the same is true for having a robust ad fraud detection tool. Protect your campaigns and take action today.

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Middle East eCommerce: The Evolving Consumer Dynamics in the FMCG Segment

The eCommerce landscape is expanding as more brands are exploring the global market and local marketplaces cashing in on local sentiments. The Middle East is one of the largest global marketplaces. It caters to shoppers from various ethnicity with wide variations in demand and product choices. Thus, the marketplace is a good mix of products from various other regions, globally renowned brands, and local traditional known names. eCommerce segments like beauty & personal care, electronics, and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) have moved up with rapid stride across middle eastern marketplaces. In recent years, the FMCG sector has stood out among the expanding Middle East eCommerce market. Factors such as population growth, rising disposable incomes, urbanization, and changing consumer preferences have created a favorable environment for FMCG companies. One of the biggest markets in the region is the UAE with predicted eCommerce revenue for 2023 estimated around US$11,782.3 million. The next is the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) with annual eCommerce revenue of approx. US$8.53 billion in 2022 which is expected to hit US$20.01 billion revenue mark by 2027. Source: Mordor Intelligence Report FMCG companies on eCommerce, Quick commerce, and D2C platforms in the Middle East are poised for continued growth and success if they stay attuned to changing consumer dynamics. Brands can thrive in this dynamic market and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the region’s evolving consumer landscape. Let’s take a deep dive to examine the current state of the FMCG industry in the Middle East and its future prospects with evolving consumer dynamics. Understand the Arabian Way Global FMCG companies in the Middle East need to adapt products, packaging, and marketing strategies to align with local tastes, preferences, and cultural considerations will help companies establish strong connections with consumers. The eCommerce market size of Middle East by 2025 is expected to reach US$27 billion, growing by US$10 billion from 2020. Source: Mordor Intelligence Report Brands on the eCommerce platforms need to continue focusing on diversification to stay relevant in the market. The Middle East’s young and digitally savvy population will continue to drive the adoption of e-commerce, making it imperative for FMCG companies to establish a strong online presence and optimize Delivery Turn-Around-Time (TAT) to cater to evolving consumer behavior that demands swift delivery. Market Trends: The Middle East has become a crucial market for FMCG products. The growing middle-class population, rapid urbanization, and expanding eCommerce retail infrastructure have driven the demand for consumer goods. Additionally, the region’s young and tech-savvy population has embraced e-commerce platforms for FMCG purchases, presenting opportunities for both local and global companies. To stay ahead in the fiercely competitive landscape brands must: Track global & local competitors’ products performance vs yours across eCommerce platforms Monitor Search of Search and Visibility Share across platforms & locations Identify new opportunities -demographics or geographies to target in your market segment Set market strategies based on insights & analytics Enhance content to suit the local shoppers’ needs by identifying high-performing keywords Shifting Consumer Demands: Consumer preferences in the Middle East are evolving rapidly. While traditional brands and products still hold significance, consumers are increasingly seeking healthier and more sustainable options. The value-first shoppers are leading the growing demand for organic, natural, and ethically sourced products. FMCG companies are responding to these changing preferences by introducing innovative offerings and expanding their customer base but need to track what going on in the segment to stay ahead with market and competitor insights. About 46% of the budget-conscious shoppers in the UAE consistently choose private label products whenever available, and they are playing a substantial role in driving notable growth rates, particularly in the food and beverage sectors. Source: Brain & Co. Report Digital Transformation: Post-pandemic consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping and are relying more on digital platforms for FMCG needs. This shift has compelled FMCG companies to invest in e-commerce capabilities, competitive analytics solutions, and omnichannel strategies to remain competitive. In the Middle East, consumers are utilizing multiple channels, especially smartphones, to access eCommerce platforms and purchase various products online. A significant number are now shopping online at least once a month, and a PwC survey found that 73% of buyers prefer buying groceries through online platforms. Localization and Diversification: The Middle East consists of diverse markets, each with its own cultural nuances and preferences. FMCG companies that have successfully localized their products and marketing strategies have gained a competitive advantage. Adapting to local tastes, preferences, and religious considerations is crucial for long-term success. Furthermore, diversification into adjacent sectors such as personal care, hygiene, and household products presents new growth opportunities. Around 69% of UAE consumers and 63% in Saudi Arabia are willing to pay more for quality products, especially those with health benefits. Since 2020, about 75% of UAE consumers have opted for healthier alternatives while shopping, with 33% choosing organic products and 23% preferring sugar-free options. Source: Brain & Co. Report Future Outlook: The future of the FMCG industry in the Middle East appears promising. FMCG companies that embrace digital transformation, invest in e-commerce capabilities, and the adoption of advanced technologies like AI-ML-driven data analytics, and automation will enhance operational efficiency and improve the customer experience. The future of eCommerce in the Middle Eastern region looks promising, thanks to its well-connected, digitally savvy audience. With retail penetration already at 11-12% and growing, over 80% of buyers use mobile devices and 70% use social media to reach sellers. Internet penetration is nearly 100%, with 80% of users already making purchases online. Around 85% of buyers are tech-savvy and comfortable with digital payments. The region’s growing buying power and government support for eCommerce initiatives make it an ideal place where the eCommerce market will expand further in the future. Final Thoughts The FMCG industry in the Middle East is undergoing significant growth and transformation. By adapting to changing consumer preferences, leveraging e-commerce, and focusing on sustainability, FMCG companies can capture market share and drive profitability. Doesn’t matter if you are a newbie to the middle

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click-spamming

Decode the Fraud Series: Cracking Down on Click Spamming?

While online fraud perhaps started with email spamming, it has come a long way. Today, ad fraud takes many forms, and it costs digital advertisers several billion dollars. The lure of making quick money has motivated modern fraudsters to employ sophisticated techniques to commit fraud. Ad fraud techniques such as domain spoofing, cookie stuffing, ad stacking, ad injection, geo masking, and many others are just a few of the many techniques employed by modern fraudsters. Ad fraud is a serious problem that drains budgets and can cause long-term damage by skewing campaign performance data. Awareness is the first step for any advertiser looking to protect their ad campaigns and the budgets associated with them. This article will help you build this awareness. In the subsequent sections of this article, you will gain an in-depth understanding of one of the most prevalent click fraud techniques- click spamming. Let’s dive right in: What Is Click Spamming? Click spamming is a click fraud technique that involves the generation of fake clicks on ads or app download links. With click spamming, the clicks generated often come from genuine devices with authentic devices and user IDs. Click spamming can take many forms. Some of the most common ones are: Click Flooding- Fraudsters generate several fake clicks on ads within an app. Generating Fake Impressions- Fraudsters use a mobile app to generate fake views on videos in the background. The user is often unaware of this activity. In some cases, the app may place multiple ‘hidden’ ads within the ad interface and get credit for authentic impressions when a user views them. Organic Poaching- Fraudsters use malware-laced apps to claim credit for authentic app downloads. How Does Click Spamming Happen? Click spamming activity usually happens in one of the following two ways: 1. Click Flooding and Generating Fake Impressions: To execute this type of click fraud, the fraudster first places a utility app on the app download store. Examples of such apps may include a torch app or a calculator. However, this activity is not limited to utility apps and has been observed in games and other types of apps. Once a user has downloaded the app, it continues to run in the background. Without the knowledge of the user, the app’s in-built features generate automated clicks on ads. Similar techniques are used to generate impressions and views. 2. Organic Poaching: With organic poaching, the app downloaded by the user generates a number of clicks within the app. In some cases, it may be designed to enable an external device to click within the app. This goes on until the user downloads a promoted app or makes an in-app purchase. When they do, the credit is stolen by the fraudsters using organic poaching. While the obvious impact of such click fraud activities is the lost ad budget, there is a deeper, more serious problem. Click fraud can distort advertisers’ analytics, compromising their ability to make informed decisions. Access to data, the ability to test different ads and audiences, and the ability to optimize campaigns are perhaps the most pressing reasons to use digital advertising. Click fraud prevents advertisers from enjoying the full benefits of this access to data and associated benefits. Difference Between Click Spamming and Botnet Activity Click spamming and botnet activity have a few similarities and are often confused with each other. Both involve generating a large number of clicks on mobile apps, mobile landing pages, and web pages. However, the key difference lies in the source of the clicks. How To Identify Click Spamming in Your Ad Campaigns? Click spamming can be difficult to detect. This is because the origin of the clicks is an authentic device with a genuine device ID. That said, detecting click spamming isn’t impossible. If your ads are receiving a lot of traffic from a source, but the conversion rate is unusually low, it may be a sign of click spamming. To be sure, you can: Look into the publisher app. If the app does not have a lot of downloads but is generating a disproportionate number of clicks, consider it a red flag. It is also worth watching out for apps that haven’t been validated by Google’s Play Store. However, do you remember that there may be some genuine apps that have chosen to forego the validation process to protect their code? If you suspect a conversion, check the time between a click and a conversion. In most cases of organic poaching, fraudsters claim a conversion sometime after the click has been generated. How To Stop Click Spamming? Once you have identified sources of fake clicks, you can simply block them. However, doing this at scale every day is often not practical or effective. Manually tracking click spamming activity can be time-consuming. Moreover, the process is prone to human errors that may lead you to overlook important sources of clicks. Similarly, in some cases, wrong judgment may lead advertisers to block genuine sources of authentic conversions. The most reliable way to fight click spamming is to use an ad fraud solution like mFilterIt. mFilterIt uses its AI and ML capabilities to pinpoint verified instances of click spamming and also identify human-like traffic sources. This paints a transparent picture of your campaign performance and allows you to block sources of fraudulent traffic. Conclusion Click spamming is a serious fraud issue, but the unfortunate reality is that it is not the only one. Click fraud and other forms of online ad fraud are plaguing ad budgets and campaign reports. While this means that some advertisers will continue to struggle, for smart advertisers, this presents an opportunity to get ahead. Think about it, simply by using an ad fraud tool, you can improve campaign performance and the accuracy of your attribution sources. Get in Touch to learn more about click spamming. 

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global-payment-ecosystem

The Rise of Direct Carrier Billing Across the Global Payment Ecosystem

The global digital landscape is evolving swiftly with high rates of mobile penetration across the world even among the unbanked population. This has led to rapid changes in digital consumption patterns which fuel the need for swift, seamless, and secure payments. Rising to the occasion is Direct Carrier Billing (DCB). It has the upper hand compared to other payment modes. The ease of transaction via DCB is what is leading the global market penetration. It is set to experience significant growth. The key highlight of this rise is the African region which is estimated 84% rise in revenue in 2023. But still, ensuring secure and seamless DCB transactions remains a cause of concern. Let’s take a closer look at how various regions flourish with Direct Carrier Billing. The Global Prospects of DCB Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) has emerged as a powerful and convenient payment method that is rapidly gaining popularity across the world. In coming years, the DCB market size is all set to expand and grow at a notable CAGR of 13.13% in 2030 and is estimated to surpass US $115.72 billion by 2030. So, what’s propelling DCB? The answer is quite simple – need to make quick payments without any KYC or OTP. All it needs is a mobile phone and an active mobile number for billing. This has helped DCB find its foothold among the unbanked population in regions such as North Africa where internet penetration is limited and in the APAC region where high media consumption rates are driving DCB growth. According to research, 49% of DCB growth originates from Asia Pacific regions. But the challenge is the fragmented market and competition from digital wallets. Emerging DCB Markets: The emerging market geographies make up almost 60% of the DCB market value. Surprised? Don’t be. Factor in the high penetration of mobiles compared to emerging market’s unbanked population, then the number will look quite obvious. Carrier billing is the most prominent means of online transactions among the unbanked population. People with pre-paid can simply top up and begin spending. For Postpaid users, it could also be the source of credit with buy now pay later as the operator’s monthly bill. The key emerging market for DCB is the Middle East & Africa, where half of the population is unbanked, reaching as high as 70% in countries like Morocco, and in Central & South America, nearly 40% of the population is unbanked. This can translate almost directly into growth rates. End-user spending via carrier billing is expected to grow fastest in regions like Latin America with a rapid CAGR of 41 % by 2025. The Asia region (excluding the Far East & China), Africa, and the Middle East are not far behind, growing the second fastest at 24% CAGR to 2025. A secure environment is also essential for expanding DCB into new markets, particularly in emerging economies where DCB has the potential to revolutionize access to digital goods and services. These markets may be more vulnerable to fraud, so implementing a secure payment system is critical to ensure that DCB is seen as a trusted and reliable payment method. The DCB Ecosystem MENA (MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA) The region is one of the fastest-growing DCB markets in terms of mobile connections, with a big percentage of the population owning mobile phones. In a survey, 19% of consumers from the MENA region used cashless payment options last year. This is quite significant as the use of mobile payment methods is on the rise in the region. Another fact that came out of the survey was that 64% of consumers used one digital payment option at least. This also includes DCB (Source: FinTech News 2023). This highlights how payment systems are being adopted by the region. The emerging markets, such as ticketing, online gaming, and physical goods, have a projected YoY growth rate of 31%, 57%, and 40%, respectively, for the next four years. It is a sector already showing signs of high potential. This year will close with $7M in ticket sales in Africa and the Middle East region. Specifically, these categories will represent an expense of $86M in 2022. Credit card ownership in these countries is not widespread with only a small percentage of users. Therefore, options like DCB come along as a reliable and practical solution. SOUTH AFRICA The region spent about $89 million for digital content and services in 2022 via Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) with a year-on-year growth rate of 16% and above. Between 2022-2026 it’s all set to reach $159M in 2026. (Source: “DCB Evolution and Trends 2022-2026” by Telecom) DCB spending in South Africa represents around 15% of the global market in Africa and the Middle East, placing it as one of the most relevant countries by billing. South Africans currently spend an average of $4.2 per month on digital content. By 2026, this average figure will reach $5.5/month/user. The digital market is largely the one that most stimulate users when it comes to paying for their purchases through the operator. The most popular content paid with DCB is, in order, video games, videos, and music. ASIA-PACIFIC It is estimated that the Asia-Pacific direct carrier billing market will grow at a CAGR of 14.52% during the 2019-2028 period, with Japan currently leading the adoption of this mobile-based digital payment mode. One of the biggest reasons for the stupendous growth of DCB is a steady increase in the usage of mobile phones and smartphones in the region. Developed Markets Even in geographies where a high percentage of the population is banked, DCB provides opportunity. Looking at younger generations, there is lower credit card adoption, and as an age group who grew up with mobile phones, DCB is a more natural option. In the United States, only 50% of Gen Z have a credit card. Even among the card holders, the use is far less at 1.5 cards on average as compared to 4 credit cards for the average American. Win-Win for businesses, direct carrier

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ad-fraud

Are Your Digital Ad Campaigns Safe from Sophisticated Bots?

The digital world is evolving rapidly, and marketers are moving from traditional platforms to digital platforms. But in this growing digital ecosystem, someone is hiding behind the screens to disrupt your growth. Behind all the pros of digital advertising, a manipulated truth is that marketers are unaware of who is coming to see their ad campaigns. To throw light on this, ad fraud solution providers have come into the limelight to validate how much invalid traffic is coming to the ad campaigns. However, just when the marketers were ready to combat ad fraud, cybercriminals expanded their fraud zone with sophisticated bots. Unlike the general bots, the sophisticated bots can replicate human behavior and hide easily behind the cloak of genuine traffic resulting in manipulated data. This again makes the marketer’s ad campaigns vulnerable to ad fraud. What is the solution?  Advanced Problems Need Advanced Solutions Once a sophisticated bot penetrates your digital ad campaign, it will not just impact one KPI but also manipulate your entire sales funnel and manipulate the data. For example, if you’re running an impressions campaign then first it will inflate the number of impressions with bot traffic. And once that is done, they will impact your hard KPIs like lead, conversion, or install. The result is that you not only waste your ad spend on invalid traffic but also open the gateway to your brand assets for the sophisticated bot army to attack and destroy. Thus, it is important to get a full-funnel ad fraud detection tool instead of a solution that covers just one KPI. Know in detail about the different types of sophisticated bots that are hard to detect on the web and app. And for the advanced solution, stick with us till the end of this blog. Sophisticated Web Fraud Techniques That Are Hard to Detect Imperceptible Window To improve the CTR of the site, the  fraudsters open the advertiser’s landing page to a zero-sized pixel. However, the end-user is unaware of this and when they visit the website it is registered as a click in google ads platform. The advertiser ends up paying for these clicks/visits which were not even seen by the user. Example of Page View Fraud In the above case, the user didn’t click on the advertisement, but a click has been registered. As the window size is imperceptible for the user, they are unaware of this case. Generally, it is difficult to detect these anomalies without the help of advanced data analytics capabilities. Cookie Stuffing Cookie stuffing is organic theft where a website drops one or more third-party cookies onto a user’s web browser. An Iframe of ‘0x0’ pixel is used to dropping a cookie to hijack the organic user. These malicious cookies thus incorrectly attribute the organic traffic to the fraudulent affiliate. In the above example, we have incorporated a mFilterIt pixel which drops a randomly generated cookie whenever a user visits the advertiser’s website for the first time. Upon the return of that user, the same cookie value indicates the return of the same user. We also observed that despite faking or rotating the IP, the bot device is returning the same cookie within a gap of a few minutes. Bot User Fake users or Bot emulated users usually don’t have any mouse movement or touch interactions. They are also programmed in a way where they don’t react to the advertiser’s landing page. In this case, where there is no user interaction, we use the capabilities of Machine learning algorithms combined with captured values like configurations, plugins, device settings, canvas fingerprinting, etc. This helps to analyze the bot patterns and cases where the clicks bots are happening at a high probability. With the help of AI, ML, and data science, we detected approximately 32k such cases just in the pilot phase. Sophisticated App Fraud Techniques That Are Hard to Detect Click Spam Click spamming starts when a user downloads an infected app on their device – or visits an infected mobile website. These infected apps are usually downloaded outside the walled gardens of the Play Store and IOS app store. The infected app has built-in code which is programmed to create clicks on ads or allow external devices to click within the app. The app works normally on the user’s device, except for the tiny code running click-spam activities in the background. This fraud technique generates click spamming from the user’s device without their knowledge. And the advertisers are under an impression that the clicks are generated by real users. Example of Click Spam In this case, clicks and installs are high whereas the conversion rate is as low as 0.01%. This is a clear case of click spamming. These clicks were generated in a time period of 9 days from Thailand. Surprisingly, the total clicks are equivalent to the population of the country. This kind of CTIT curve is often overlooked by the attribution platforms due to the clicks being refreshed in the background. At mFilterIt, we track the click patterns in case of click generating from the same device ID. Event Spoofing Event spoofing is one of the advanced fraud techniques used by fraudsters to manipulate the install data of advertisers. In this case, the fraudsters programmed bots that can fire fake clicks in the background to capture the events. This eventually leads to an event being spoofed and attributed without a legitimate install. This results in the advertiser believing that a legitimate install happened. However, in reality, no event has occurred. The events like bookings, purchases, signup, registration, etc. are required to be analyzed thoroughly to identify in-app fraud. Example of Event Spoofing In this case, the CTIT is distributed within a few minutes, which is unusual. The normal traffic pattern is spread over as the conversion time is usually not in the control of the publisher. mFilterIt’s Full-Funnel Model – Our Advanced Solution How We Protected a Global Pharma Player Across the Funnel A premium pharma company noticed that their impressions were high, but the number

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