The Adjust Mobile Measurement Glossary

Mobile Ad Fraud


What is Mobile Ad Fraud?

Mobile ad fraud is when an individual or group attempt to defraud advertisers, publishers or supply partners by exploiting mobile advertising technology. The objective of fraudsters is to steal from advertising budgets.

Mobile ad fraud can take a number of different forms, from faked impressions, click spam or faked installs, and as the industry develops to fight them, so too do methods of fraud change and improve. For example, fraudulent publishers seeking to benefit from false impressions may stuff adverts into a single pixel, or deliberately align an advert out of view to generate views or impressions that never took place. Our ad fraud white paper covers this in much more detail.

Why Does Mobile Ad Fraud Happen?

Mobile ad fraud presents a significant opportunity to make money quickly (though illegally), which is contributed to by two factors. The first is that while mobile content slows in production, both audience and advertising demands grow, creating a vacuum that fraudsters can fill. Advertisers are finding increasingly limited inventory to spend their larger budgets, money which can fall into the hands of fraudsters. Secondly, a lack of industry action in combating fraud means that, for the moment, a criminal is less likely to be caught and can act with somewhat more impunity.

Mobile ad fraud is difficult to take on and requires wholesale industry co-ordination. Progress is being made, all that’s needed is further evolution with regards to technology, coordination and facing up to the realities of mobile ad fraud.

What Does Adjust Do to Prevent Mobile Ad Fraud?

Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite works specifically on user acquisition fraud. The Suite prevents fraudulent traffic from being attributed to your paid channels, which means that ad spend is being paid into the right channels, boosting user engagement where else it would be lost. The Suite also keeps your dataset clean, allowing planning and campaign reviews to be based on entirely accurate data.

The Fraud Prevention Suite also analyzes each and every install event in real-time, scanning for abnormalities and potentially fraudulent action. By focusing on singular events, Adjust ensures that no false positives are introduced.

For more on how our Fraud Prevention Suite works in the real world, read our Rovio case study, which details just how effective it can be.