Advertising fraud on mobile is a growing issue – and non-gaming apps on iOS are a prime target

Anne Freier | February 16, 2017

Mobile Advertising


Source ClicksMob

Advertising fraud is now a $8.2 billion issue for the advertising industry. Not all of this is coming from mobile of course, but as the consumer migration to mobile devices is under way, fraudsters will follow.

According to the latest report by ClicksMob on The State of Mobile Ad Fraud 2016 released today, part of the problem are recent advances in technology. The smarter the advertising technology, the more advanced the fraud.

Avishai Shoushan, CEO of ClicksMob, explains that fraud is a recent problem.

“Fraud is one of the biggest challenges in the mobile advertising world, and if nothing is done, it will only continue to grow, undermining billions of dollars in valuable ad investments. ClicksMob’s key focus has always been high quality traffic. With that in mind, we are harnessing our expertise to tackle the ad fraud problem head-on through our new Fraud Fighter system.”

As part of this report, ClicksMob analysed any attempts at fraud towards its mobile traffic that were detected by the company’s own Fraud Fighter technology.

In terms of time and day, Friday as well as the weekend are the prime targeting days for fraudulent advertising. Friday alone drew 18% of total attempts. Advertisers tend to spend more during the weekend, so the increase in attempts are not a surprise. Monday to Thursday claimed 12-14% per day.


The most popular apps for fraud are non-gaming apps. Indeed, non-gaming apps were targeted by a ratio of 3:2 to gaming apps. 39% of total fraudulent traffic was targeted at gaming and 61% at non-gaming apps.

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Among the top five verticals that appear to be targeted most often by fraudsters are: Gaming, Lifestyle, Shopping, Travel & Local, and Sports. Indeed, Gaming accounted for 39% of attempted fraudulent traffic, which is around 50% more than Lifestyle categories.

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The company also took a closer look at a regional breakdown of the areas that were targeted the most by advertising fraud on Android devices. Japan ranks first, followed by Malaysia, Singapore, USA and the UK.

On iOS, Japan leads once again, followed by Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore and the USA.

iOS versus Android makes for an important distinction between fraud susceptibility. Indeed, iOS was 50% more prone to fraudulent activity than Android. That’s probably due to payouts being higher on iOS compared to Android.

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These findings reveal that the industry must take action in order to minimise fraud. Indeed, a rigorous maintenance of high standards of quality and consumer satisfaction are a must. Prevention and migration of ad fraud are key steps toward fighting it, ClicksMob added.

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