App Marketing

Spotlight's on fraud prevention - and that's a great thing

Topics

Since the release of our Fraud Prevention Suite on February 17th, we’ve seen tremendous elevation in the industry’s fraud-oriented discussions.

More and more players in the mobile space are waking up to the reality that fraud is running rampant across user acquisition and advertising. Fraud prevention tools are being rolled out every week now, it seems. We’re extremely pleased to see that this issue is gaining more and more traction.

Early adopters for fraud prevention include HotelTonight, Zalando, Rovio

The reception from the app developers we talk to has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve now turned on extensive fraud filters for around three dozen global brands and mobile businesses, including Rovio, HotelTonight, mobile.de, Zalando and a series of Rocket Internet ventures. As early adapters, they are all helping us tweak and iterate on the systems.

Similarly, responses from ad networks and publishers has been hugely encouraging. At our breakfast meetings in Berlin and San Francisco, respectively, we’ve invited reps from our core partners to discuss how we can ensure that networks get the reporting they need. For networks, the suite represents an opportunity to prove the quality of their traffic or zero in on exactly the publishers that should be removed. We’ve been carefully listening to their feedback along the way.

Chart: Peak-trough patterns in rejected traffic shows how fraudsters behave

These initial tests show a very interesting pattern. As we turn on filters for specific apps, we see a very high initial peak of traffic hitting the filters – then a rapid drop. This story repeats itself over and over as we onboard new clients.

The chart above reflects this from one of our shards.

The reason? Fraudulent publishers optimize for conversions just like user acquisition managers! So when they see this rapid drop in successfully faked conversions, they jump ship and target their efforts to some other campaign.

Right now, keen fraudsters are able to jump from one victim to the other, knowing that the next target likely doesn’t have these filters installed. The only way to stop fraudsters from attacking is for an industry-wide response, which is why we’re so glad to see the outpouring of anti-fraud products from our partners and competitors alike.

With increased adoption from app developers worldwide – regardless what tech stack they use – fraud prevention will only become more effective. We’ll continue researching and building tools, and as we do so, we’re committed to sharing insights about the results. The approaches we construct can and should be replicated among our partners and competitors to be as effective as possible.

For an in-depth overview into the approaches we’ve identified and the techniques that we are applying, check out the whitepaper we released yesterday. We’ve used that platform to collect descriptions of the implementations we’re now releasing.

– Christian