Global mobile ad fraud jumped 173% in 2020

Anne Freer | November 20, 2020

Mobile Advertising

It seems that mobile ad fraud is growing and posing a danger to the integrity of marketing data.

Global ad fraud rates rose 173% between August 2019 and 2020 according to new data from mobile app marketing platform Adjust.

Researchers are now not just faking paid installs but also organic traffic.

Among 200 million rejected installs, two-thirds were organic and just a third were paid installs.

Ad fraud was even higher in EMEA at 181% and in the US at 310%. In APAC regions, ad fraud rates stood at 215%.

“It is absolutely vital that marketers can trust their data” says Andreas Naumann, Director of Fraud Prevention at Adjust. “Without having a clear view, it is simply impossible to make strategic, data-driven decisions. Ultimately, fraud is and will remain to be a challenge we see in the industry, however by implementing the right tools, we will be able to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters and ensure transparency remains a top priority.” 

The types of methods that fraudsters use most often include bots and fake users.

In the US, these types of ad fraud made up 69% of fraudulent activity. In China it was 66% while less than half (47%) of mobile ad fraud in the EMEA is related to fake users and bots.

But SDK spoofing still dominates in LATAM (51%). It was the most prevalent type of ad fraud in the Food and Drink (60%) and Business (35%) app categories.

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