6 Essential Capabilities for Mobile Ad Fraud Prevention

By John Koetsier April 17, 2018

As a mobile marketer, you already make plenty of educated decisions about how, when, and where to spend your ad dollars. Evaluating creative performance, optimizing audiences, and testing the effectiveness of various ad networks are just a few of the methods every marketer employs – but there is one significant investment that is missing across the board:

Only 37% of marketers utilize mobile ad fraud prevention tools in their attribution systems.

This is an alarming statistic when you consider that an estimated $6.5 billion from the digital advertising ecosystem was lost to mobile advertising fraud last year. As more marketers continue to leave themselves vulnerable to ad fraud, the mechanisms and impact of fraud continue to grow and evolve over time. The result is an industry-wide problem where marketers are unsure of the validity of their data and are losing significant portions of their advertising budgets to fraudsters every day.

At Singular, we recognized the magnitude of this problem for mobile marketers and decided to delve deeper into this complex issue. In The Singular Fraud Index, we analyzed fraudulent traffic from hundreds of mobile apps to identify the industry’s most secure ad networks, the most successful fraud prevention methods, and what the future of fraud prevention looks like. A few key highlights that advertisers can learn a lot from are:

  • 70% of fraud prevented monthly is attempted via attribution manipulation. Rule-based prevention methods are most effective in fighting this form of fraud.
  • The sum total of fraud prevented through Publisher Blacklisting is noticeably smaller than many other forms of fraud. This is likely due to fraudsters who quickly stop using specific publisher-ID’s after multiple installs are rejected, which contributes to the ever-changing nature of fraud.
  • Fraudsters are increasingly capable of outsmarting IP filters, rendering this method of fraud detection less effective over time. This is a common trend in fraud evolution.

Ad Fraud Prevention Capabilities
At present, most attribution providers offer mobile ad fraud prevention tools as a mark-up to standard attribution services. The consequence is that most marketers are forced to analyze the data themselves in order to isolate and reject vulnerabilities to fraud, which takes up valuable time and resources from an already busy workload. Coupled with the ever-evolving methodologies of fraud, it is nearly impossible for marketers alone to fight fraud in all its forms.

At Singular, we believe mobile advertisers should be equipped with the tools to fight fraud – and that they should come part and parcel to their attribution services. Here are the 6 essential capabilities marketers need to fight fraud:

1: Comprehensive Fraud Protection
Many different things can be flagged as fraudulent, including installs, clicks, and unique pre-defined events. In order to proactively protect against all these different forms of fraud, marketers need a comprehensive prevention suite that employs all fraud detection and prevention methods available in order to protect their budgets.

2: Constant Evolution in Fraud Prevention Tactics
Fraud is a constantly-evolving threat, finding new ways to circumvent current prevention methods and siphon off ad dollars. Marketers need to utilize the most up-to-date prevention technologies to keep up with this ever-changing threat, which requires a solid knowledge of the current state of ad fraud at any given time.

3: Flexible Reporting
Fraud can be hard to pinpoint, so it is essential that marketers have the ability to investigate suspicious traffic sources at a very granular level. Being able to see as far down as the publisher, campaign, geo, and site level gives advertisers the ability to create custom rejection rules that will target and prevent fraud right at the source.

4: Visual Fraud Metrics
As difficult as fraudulent behavior is to identify, it’s even harder to represent it visually when you have a thousand unorganized data points. Marketers need to be able to see their data easily to understand the fraud metrics that matter most, such as cost or rejected installs.

5: Customizable Rejection Rules
Fraud prevention is not a one-size-fits-all tool. Every app marketer experiences fraud in ways that are unique to their app environment, so it’s important that advertisers have the ability to reject fraudulent traffic and create rules based on their own unique situation.

6: Complete Transparency
Lastly, marketers need to be able to see clearly how well their mobile ad dollars are being spent, which requires complete transparency of data. Only after seeing the complete picture can marketers truly understand how to effectively protect their ROI.

All these features – and more – are available within the Singular Fraud Prevention Suite. It’s our mission to keep traffic sources clean and marketers confident in their data. We provide our customers with actionable insights into their ad fraud vulnerability, helping them to make smarter, more cost-effective decisions. We are committed to fighting fraud even as it evolves, and to leading the mobile marketing industry in efforts to ensure the safety of ad dollars.

Learn more about the Singular Fraud Prevention Suite here!

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