Ad Fraud And How You Can Detect It

by John Sanderson
Ad Fraud And How You Can Detect It

A modern, digital business environment depends on information technologies to accelerate performed tasks and interactions between clients and partners. With powerful tools and ever-changing information systems, smart companies have tons of ways to find interested clients without wasting too many resources. By maintaining strong, technological ties with other tech companies, businesses spread their roots on the internet to survive and thrive in a digitalized world.

Companies that invest resources to have an effect on information chains get great discoverability. Manipulation of digital tools and strategies results in the development of a modern, digital marketing campaign. The systems that increase client outreach have undergone the biggest changes in the era of digitalization. Instead of investing in air time on traditional media platforms, such as TV or Radio, companies grow their influence on social media, optimize their websites to make them visible on search engines, and utilize collected user information to launch personalized ads in appropriate geolocations. By coordinating these tools and balancing their utilization based on the business model, they develop unique yet incredibly effective digital marketing campaigns.

While we have many moving parts that help us tap out to unique marketing opportunities, businesses rely on simple digitized ads that pop up on visited websites. What makes them more powerful than TV ads or billboards is the ability to track interactions between the advertiser and the interested consumer. With many ads all over the web, companies can track which websites attract the most clicks on their ads. Without investing in complex elements of digital marketing campaigns, using these ads and placing them on frequently visited websites can lure many internet users.

However, what makes these ads easy to set up and distribute also makes them prone to fraud. Often without suspicion, cybercriminals find ways to trick advertisers and scam them out of their profit. In this article, we want to teach our readers to understand and recognize the ongoing injustice. If you plan to advertise your business, ad fraudsters can use many strategies to present falsified information with botted clicks without the involvement of real users, which brings no real customers to your company website. We will also discuss the usage of proxy servers – internet privacy tools that will help us verify legitimate ads and discover fraudulent ones. For example, using a German proxy while visiting a suspicious local website can help verifiers disguise their activity with a German proxy IP. You can learn more about these tools from legitimate providers and use a German proxy for ad verification, accessing geo-blocked websites, and other tasks that depend on internet anonymity.

How Scammers Commit Ad Fraud

Technological advancements bring many benefits. Internet users constantly see advertisements on popular websites and social media networks and have powerful tools like search engines to find businesses with just a few button clicks. This dependence on clicks can result in a lot of information about the user on a website. Advertisers can know how much a user spends on a page before clicking on an ad, as well as other behavioral patterns which, when analyzed, can help develop better advertisement strategies.

Of course, this only works when every user that clicks on an ad is legitimate. By using proxy servers, scammers can assign different identities to bots that click on presented ads and trick the advertiser that provides payment based on clicks. This manipulation of impressions helps fraudsters earn money while the intended result of marketing is never achieved. Sure, you can always find a few real users in the traffic of bots, but the fake generation of clicks will not bring you, loyal customers. Here are a few techniques used by scammers to commit ad fraud.

Fake traffic generation with automated bots

As we just discussed, cybercriminals use bots with proxy servers to spam clicks on fraudulent ads. This helps scammers steal away a large portion of the profit and increase the price of an ad space that generates so much supposedly legitimate traffic. An onslaught of fake traffic destroys the legitimacy of collected data. Criminals can go to great lengths to affect ads on social media networks by creating fake accounts or even employing more people to manage armies of robots to make user data obsolete.

Ad suppression

Fraudsters love to hide and manipulate illegitimate ads to force users to click on them. As we said, because advertisers usually pay for clicks, scammers resize fraudulent ads or even make them transparent to layer them on top of legitimate ads to steal clicks and revenue.

Some cybercriminals infiltrate the publisher’s website to manipulate ad placement and put illegitimate ads on top without anyone’s knowledge. Such scam only gets noticed when the performance of legitimate ads gets extremely low without a reasonable explanation.

Detecting Fraud With Ad Verification.

The goal of ad fraudsters is to affect as many publishers and advertisers as possible to steal their revenue. To combat these parasites, ad verifiers use proxy servers and similar strategies to smoke out fraudulent ads and beat scammers at their own game. In cases where ad fraud seems out of control, companies cooperate with ad verification experts that investigate used publishers and ads.

Because most fraudsters just put their illegitimate ads on top of real ones, verifiers make some easy discoveries by altering legitimate ads, making fraudulent ads much more visible. With a big pool of proxy servers at their disposal, verifiers can keep chipping away at ad fraud, even if their IP addresses get blacklisted. Understanding ad fraud will help you avoid setbacks while developing a digital marketing campaign, discover scammers with ad verification, and stay away from websites of suspicious publishers.