The majority of consumers today seek out desired services and products on the internet because it is the fastest, most convenient way to find valuable and legitimate information. Search engines, apps, social media platforms, and other websites do a far greater job reaching out to a broader audience than old forms of advertisement. When paired with an abundance of addictive entertainment on the internet, the digital environment creates a new reality with an overwhelming amount of information presented in various forms that attract consumers into a modern, efficient world. In this article, we will discuss the ad fraud methods used by scammers and what you can do to deal with them.
To keep up and benefit from these changes, businesses develop and heavily invest in digital marketing campaigns. The growth of this market keeps improving the presentation and reachability of desired products and their alternatives.
Unfortunately, honest companies have to deal with a parasite that keeps bleeding the digital advertising industry. Despite its significant growth over the last couple of years, many ads never reach their targets. Because digital advertising networks determine their service fee based on how many people see and click the ad. This payment method allows cybercriminals to set up fraudulent websites stuffed with ads and bombard them with bot traffic. Without real human interaction with your ads, your digital marketing campaign can suffer from a lot of wasted spending and no results.
In this article, we will discuss the ad fraud methods used by scammers and what you can do to deal with them. Ad verification is a process that will help you protect your digital marketing campaigns, and we will talk about the necessary tools that will help us detect fraudsters. If you are already familiar with ad fraud, we recommend checking out Smartproxy – a residential proxy provider that can provide a fake IP address for your ad verification tasks. For those that want to learn more, here are the methods used by cybercriminals to commit fraud.
Table of Contents
Stuffing the web page with pixels
Pixel stuffing is a common practice of filling the page with nearly invisible ads to get as many clicks as possible. If you ever visited a less popular potentially malicious website, the frustrating bombardment of invisible ads not only ruins the experience for visitors of the page but also generates fake traffic with the help of bots. This way, fraudsters cash in by faking and inflating the reachability of ads while hiding behind a fake IP address. Scammers siphon the money away from legitimate clicks, leaving businesses with incorrect data and wasted marketing spending.
The pathing of a casual web browser is often unpredictable, and a visit to an illegitimate publisher with an unexpected bombardment of hidden ads with every click. While tech-savvy internet users avoid them with ad blockers, ad fraud can indirectly tarnish the reputation of a company by ruining our browsing experience.
As another method of implementing ad fraud, scammers love to stack fake ads behind legitimate advertising. Even if the visitor is only interested in what is presented on the screen, the clicks apply to all ads, and fraudsters steal even more money from the digital advertising industry.
Unexpected Ad injections
It is quite common, even for technically literate internet users, to accidentally install a malicious app or a browser extension. Even if they usually do not cause any harm to individuals.
Through such software, ad fraudsters can inject ads into other websites that dedicate their space to legitimate advertisers. Through ad injections, sometimes fake ads appear on websites that should not show any type of advertisement at all.
Ad fraudsters have many tricks up their sleeve
From domain spoofing to fake click spamming, scammers use many methods to steal from advertisers, and there are quite a few reasons why it’s so hard to stop them. Criminals do not hesitate to profit from ad fraud because it is the easiest crime that brings the biggest payout. Because these scammers do not endanger our private lives, they rarely receive proper punishment. With the help of a fake IP address, fraudsters can use these tools in relative safety.
How do we stop ad fraud?
Because it is the best way to communicate with a potential client, digital marketing spending only keeps growing, which promises a bigger payout for ad fraudsters. To protect themselves, businesses try to protect their marketing strategies with ad verification.
Ad verification helps us counter all the strategies used by ad fraudsters to legitimate publishers and advertisers. By sniffing out fake traffic, scanning ads, and ensuring their presence in the right context, we can mitigate and eliminate the damage caused by third-party scammers.
Businesses use ad verification scripts to make sure that their ads appear in the right place. To protect their illegal livelihood, fraudsters ban ad verification companies and limit their effectiveness. Ironically, just like the scammers themselves, verification scripts continue to do their job with the help of a fake IP address. Multiple network identities provided by proxy providers also aid the ad verification process in other ways. Proxies can be used to check redirection paths and the appearance of your ads in a localized context. Make sure to protect your business from ad fraudsters to not only save money but also ensure proper targeting.
While business owners rejoice at the ability to protect their digital marketing campaigns with ad verification, the punishment for ad fraud still does not fit the crime. Even though we can see big tech companies taking the initiative to deal with the problem, they are still failing to crack down on ad fraud in 2021. Ad fraud is still a plague in the digital advertising industry, and it’s up to the advertisers and publishers to mitigate its damage with ad verification.
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