MOBILE AD FRAUDS – What it is?


Mobile fraud is increasing day by day. There are numerous reports that give an estimation, however, around Dollar 7.2 billion is lost due to mobile ad fraud. Mobile ad fraud is when any individual or a group tries to defraud advertisers, supply partners or the publishers. The main objective here is to snatch from advertising budgets.




There are a number of ways in which mobile fraud is attempted. It could be fake impressions, click spam or even the fake installs. These methods keep innovating themselves as the evolution in the industry takes place.


A few more types of mobile ad frauds are viewable fraud which is stacked, off-screen or non-viewable. There is another type of fraud that is targeting/compliance fraud which is served to the real people but not the audience a marketer wants. Lastly, there is bot fraud which is served to bots or the software agents, not real people; the bots may or may not click on the ads.


Even though it is tough to categorize but based on the classification by Fraud score, these mobile ad frauds yet these can be broadly categorized as –

DEVICE (Abnormal device parameters)

  • Fake device IDs (user agent, IDFA/Android ID, MAC address, etc.) and their combinations are one them. Additionally, hijacked device where a user is present and additional HTML or ad calls are made independently of the content being requested by the user IP (all the violations identified by the IP address in conjunction with other parameters of conversion)

PROXY (All the violations identified by the IP address in conjunction with other parameters of conversion)

  • Traffic that is routed through an intermediary proxy device or network where the ad is rendered on a user’s device where there is a real human user
  • IPs that are associated with known Botnets and Aldwark come under mobile ad fraud. User are actively hiding their identity or making conversions from an unwanted GEO


  • Traffic originating from servers in data centers or known cloud platform providers, rather than residential or corporate networks, where the ad is not rendered on a user’s device (there is no real human user)


Includes violations of that types:

  • Click spamming – App installs previously attributed to clicked ads were discovered to be user-generated app installs randomly claimed by ad networks by spamming the fingerprinting algorithms


  • Cookie stuffing – the process by which a client is provided with cookies from other domains as if the user had visited those other domains. taking ad tags from a publisher’s site and putting them on to another site without the publisher knowledge


  • Click injection(Android only) – Android uniquely vulnerable to click injection fraud, in which an ad network takes credit for organic app installs



These were some of the types of mobile ad frauds. These usually take place because there is no system set in place to combat with these fraudsters. The fact that the criminals are less likely to get caught induces mobile ad fraud rapidly.