Mobile advertising fraud is highest in India and Indonesia – greatest distribution fraud on entertainment and news apps

Advertising fraud may already be a $16.4 billion problem in 2017. That’s the amount of money wasted on fraudulent app and unsurprisingly the majority of advertisers are worried. According to a 12-week study from mobile advertising technology company, AppLift, India and Indonesia are the countries with the highest amount of fraud at 31.29% and 21.23%. That may be due to these markets being relatively young still.
Overall, there was no significant difference in fraud between operating systems with Android and OS equally exposed to fraud.
However, there are strong differences in the amount of impression fraud between app categories. Entertainment and news apps see the most significant impression fraud on real-time bidding (RTB) at 22% each, followed by education apps (21%) and finance apps (17%).

Tim Koschella, CEO and Co-founder of AppLift, explains:

“The cost of advertising plays a significant role in mobile marketers’ budgets. The rise in fraudulent activity not only undermines the integrity of the advertising industry, but is extremely costly for advertisers. AppLift’s sophisticated pattern-detection technology helps marketers to better understand, detect and fight fraud at every level, and therefore, salvage a significant portion of their ad spend.”

The Mobile Advertising Fraud: The Next Battlegrounds ebook further examines and explains the different types of ad fraud, such as attribution fraud and install fraud. For example, incentivised installs aren’t fraudulent as such, but some fraudsters have been sending incentivised traffic to non-incentivised campaigns resulting low quality traffic for advertisers.

In addition, the fraud booklet also explores fraud detection measures.
One of the case studies identified a media source which had odd patterns in click-to-install times with 80% of installs coming within the first five minutes after the click and median install times below 50 seconds. Attempting to fight fraud cases such as this one requires a combination of technology and data. AppLift has created a fraud fighting matrix to help advertisers understand the different stages of fraud.

In order to successfully fight mobile ad fraud, advertisers will need to find out why fraud is happening in the first place and develop their own strategies and initiatives to detect fraudulent patterns. That knowledge then has to be shared in order to help the advertising ecosystem attack fraud. The report concludes:

Ad exchanges, intermediaries, publishers, and attribution partners now have a bigger role to play in mitigating fraud compared to some years ago. The industry must join forces and fight the common enemy, otherwise ad fraud will remain a cat-and-mouse chase.