Number of fraudulent apps increased 159% in 2018

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. April 17, 2019

The total number of fraudulent apps increased 159% in 2018 compared to 2017, according to measurement and analytics provider DoubleVerify.

The latest data shows that as demand for mobile app advertising grows, fraudsters continue to take advantage.

In 2018, mobile app sophisticated invalid traffic impressions doubled compared to 2017.

The majority (57%) of fraudulent mobile apps fall within the ‘games’ and ‘utilities’ categories, according to the research.

DoubleVerify also found that 1.6x more fraudulent apps were identified in 2018 than in 2017, highlighting the rise of more sophisticated detection technologies, but also the growing number of fraudulent apps.

“With ad spend increasingly concentrated in mobile – and particularly mobile app, fraudsters are redoubling their efforts to take advantage,” explained Roy Rosenfeld, Head of DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab. “It’s critical that brands understand these risks, in order to allocate spend accordingly and install appropriate safeguards for their digital investments.”

For the research, DoubleVerify identified and screened more comprehensive types of mobile app fraud including background ad activity, hidden apps and app misrepresentation.