Ad Fraud Detection

What Is an Ad Fruad ?

Ad fraud is an activity where an Advertisement is displayed over a publishing platform in unethical ways only to generate revenue offered by the advertiser. The primary objectives behind the circulation of advertisements by the advertiser may be creating brand awareness, leads, or conversion of potential customers into loyal buyers. But in an Ad fraud, the publisher displays adverts over online platforms in ways that result in the generation of false leads, data, and wastage of financial resources. According to a survey, nearly 12 – 22% of advertiser’s annual Ad budget gets wasted over Ad fraud.

This creates a need for all Ad platforms to innovate methods for Ad Fraud Detection.

Ad fraud is a deliberate activity that prevents the proper delivery of ads to the right people at the right time and at the right place.

Types Of Ad Frauds !

Ad Fraud types

“How” Ad Fraud ?

1- (Malicious BOTS)

How Ad Fraud

Ad Frauds are executed with the malicious help of fraudulent bots which usually attacks in two primary scenarios:

  • Devices with breached security defenses.
  • Automated actions in the background without the user knowing about it.

These bots are not to be confused with scripts of code uploaded onto a server, rather they are uploaded into devices in form of malware. Instead, these coded bots are in search of unique IP addresses and are introduced into a device using the following techniques:

  • Using Flash Player Ad Creatives (Conventional) – Implementation of Flash Ad creatives has various security concerns due to which google Adwords has now eliminated Falsh player Ads from its Ad Creatives.
  • Using Web Browser Security Exploits – Traditional web browsers had various security weaknesses which were exploited to load malware into a device which added to the cause. This led to development of open source browsers like mozilla, chrome and firefox which have stronger malware security
  • Tricking user to download Liscense free softwares – This is the most common practice where user is lured to visit webpages to download pirated softwares which maily include computer games and performance tools, providing easy gateway for these malwares into a device.

2- Domain Spoofing

Domain Spoofing is an activity that is executed during real-time bidding when a publisher declares that the ad will run on a specific domain with the relevant audience but instead is set to deliver it in different less favorable or completely irrelevant websites which may also harm that Brand’s Identity. It’s basically fooling advertisers that their ads are delivered over quality websites but in reality, are displayed over poor quality or unsafe websites.

3- Pixel Stuffing

Pixel stuffing is a method of Ad fraud where ads are placed in form of invisible pixels to serve invalid impressions on a webpage. These ad pixels are invisible to the user surfing the page and because of which can’t interact with the ad.

4- Ad Stacking

When a fraudster places several ads on top of each other on a webpage, is called Ad Stacking. What actually happens is due to ad stacking several ads are placed on the same pixels covering a certain area of a webpage, where the ad on the top is only visible. Impressions are charged for all of the ads stacked together.

“Why” Ad Fruad ?

Why ad fraud
Why ad fraud

As you can see among all other frauds Ad fraud has the lowest cyber risk and effort involved with high payout potential due to which it is an easy money-making route for fraudulent publishers who make use of bots to increase Ad traffic.

Ad Fraud Detection Techniques

In order to reduce the impact of digital ad fraud, marketers and companies have made noticeable advances in ad fraud detection technology over the past few years. How to detect ad fraud? Some smart ways to prevent ad fraud are:

  • Have adequate ad verification tools
  • Target audience on social media platforms
  • Monitor and ban IPs
  • Partner publisher trustworthiness
  • Anti-fraud software and tools
  • Monitor relevant metrics

Due to Continuous changes in Ad Fraud trends, it is important to keep researching how ad frauds could be executed.

How to Stop / Control Frauds


The easiest way to gain control over ad frauds is to Set up Ad verification proxies. As earlier explained, the roots of Ad fraud originate from the fraudsters mining Private IP addresses of Ad agencies or advertisers to perform frauds.

Ad verification companies come to the rescue which basically uses proxy networks. Proxy networks allow advertisers to connect from various locations to see how people can view the ad.

Ad verification companies scan the web and check if the ads displayed on the various websites meet the campaign settings, do not appear on fraudulent websites, and reach the right audience. For that, ad verification companies use proxies.

Here are some Best Ad Proxy service providers:







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