The Dark Side of Mobile Advertising Leads to Billions in Losses


Mobile is the place to be if you are looking to advertise online. For many people, the smartphone is the only way to surf the web, do social, and catch up on the news. And even for those of us who use our computers more often than not, there is still a time and place to use the phone. But mobile advertising has a dark side, and it leads to billions in losses every year.

That dark side is something the digital marketing industry refers to as ‘mobile click fraud’. As the name suggests, mobile click fraud is the process of defrauding victims using mobile platforms. In this case, the victims are advertisers who end up spending tons of money on ads that will never lead to sales.

The Huge Mobile Market

Anyone who wonders why scammers would target the mobile market has no idea just how lucrative it is. Recent estimates suggest that are advertisers will spend upwards of $326 billion on mobile ads in 2023. That is more money than most of us can even imagine. Scammers want their piece of it. They are willing to engage in all sorts of mobile click fraud activities to that end.

They benefit from the fact that there is more than one way to commit mobile click fraud. Here are just a few examples:

1. Ad Stacking – The process of stacking multiple tiny ads on top of one another so that one impression or click is registered by all of them.

2. Click Injecting – A strategy of listening electronically for app downloads, then injecting click code just before installation completes.

3. Accidental Clicks – The practice of placing tiny ads in locations where users are likely to accidentally tap.

The list just goes on from there. The point to understand is that scammers face no shortage of opportunities to rip off advertisers. With hundreds of billions of dollars in play, they are not afraid to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Ignorant Advertisers Are Decimated

The most disturbing aspect of all of this is that ignorant advertisers are decimated by scammers. They have no idea they are wasting their marketing budgets. Most of them don’t know what mobile click fraud looks like. Some defer to digital marketing agencies who either do not know how to stop click fraud or just aren’t interested in doing so.

One way to fight back is with a click fraud monitoring and prevention software package. Click fraud blocker Fraud Blocker is one example. The experts behind Fraud Blocker explain that a well-designed software package monitors a long list of metrics that, when all analyzed together, can detect fraudulent activity and invalid traffic.

In fairness, scammers know how the software works. They are constantly coming up with new strategies and workarounds. So investing in a software package alone will not solve the problem. Advertisers need a more comprehensive approach that requires at least some human intervention.

Knowing How and Where to Look

Whether using software or human experts to do the work, success hinges on knowing how and where to look. There are certain strategies for collecting and analyzing IP addresses, for example. There are certain geographic locations to key on. Likewise, there are different ways to look at and analyze digital fingerprints, timestamps, etc.

Mobile advertising is big business. Advertisers trust it to get their messages in front of their targeted audiences. But while they work hard to make mobile advertising work for them, scammers work equally hard to rip them off. That is the dark side of mobile advertising, and it costs advertisers billions of dollars every year.

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