Mobile ad fraud is an ever-growing threat to marketers, with fraudsters continuously evolving attack techniques. The exact figures for how much ad fraud costs marketers is highly debated, but eMarketer’s Digital Ad Fraud 2019 states that the estimated impact ranges from $6.5 – $19 billion annually.
To navigate this complex problem and effectively prevent ad fraud, marketers need to have an understanding of the techniques used by fraudsters and employ an always-on fraud prevention strategy that proactively rejects fraud. Otherwise, ad fraud can be detrimental to marketers in two key ways: one is the wasted ad dollars on installs that are either fake or hijacked, and the other is dirty data that is inaccurately skewed towards fraudulent networks instead of high-value networks or organic traffic.
Fraud prevention that adapts and reacts
Singular’s industry-leading Fraud Prevention Suite is built and maintained by a highly-skilled set of scientists that are dedicated to staying one step ahead of ad fraudsters and their attack methods. The Fraud Prevention Suite provides a proactive approach to detecting and combating ad fraud at scale.
With Singular’s rules-based fraud prevention, marketers can automatically apply deterministic rules in real-time to block installs before they are attributed to a fraudulent ad partner, or flag activity that is suspicious for further investigation. Automatic fraud rejection gives marketers peace of mind from knowing their ad dollars are always protected and eliminates the need to spend time reconciling ad network invoices.
Singular’s Fraud Prevention Suite not only comes pre-packaged with industry-leading Fraud Prevention Rules but also offers marketers the flexibility to define their own rules, what we call Custom Fraud Rules.
Personalizing with Custom Fraud Rules
With Singular’s Custom Fraud Rules, marketers can personalize their fraud prevention strategy to meet their brand or apps unique needs. For example, they may want to have a more aggressive approach to combating fraud if they’re advertising in markets that are more susceptible to ad fraud, or even if they’re testing new networks, each with varying levels of fraud.
Marketers can create Custom Fraud Rules by defining the conditions and rules that trigger automatic rejection of attributions or flagging of suspicious activity. The flexible rule builder allows the marketer to define multiple conditions that need to be set for the rule to trigger on a touchpoint, enabling them to implement a variety of personalized fraud-fighting rules.
Some examples of Custom Fraud Rules marketers have implemented include:
- Publisher Blacklisting
Select specific sites to blacklist from your campaigns. While you will also want to confirm your site blacklists directly with your partner, this rule gives you the power to reject traffic that comes from unreliable or underperforming sites.
- Fingerprinted Traffic Whitelist
Define and whitelist traffic sources that are trusted enough to send fingerprinted installs. Automatically reject or flag fingerprinted installs from install sources that are less reliable.
- Block Unauthorized Store Installs
Most Android apps are only published on the official Google Play Store. Automatically reject Android installs that came from an unauthorized store.
The flexibility of the Fraud Prevention Suite also allows you to add additional fraud checkpoints. These rules take known characteristics of your apps and campaigns, and allow you to quickly filter out traffic that doesn’t meet your standards.
- Country Mismatch
Use this rule to automatically reject or flag installs that take place in a country that your campaigns are not targeting.
- App Version
As you update your app version, it becomes impossible for new users to click and install deprecated versions. Fraudsters can struggle to update their attack to include the newest app version from the traffic they send, so blocking deprecated app versions can eliminate a source of fraud.
When the amount of time between an ad click and the resulting install is unusually small, it can be a sign that the install was hijacked by fraudsters. Similarly, when the time between a click and an install is too long, click spamming might be taking place. Set a custom time-to-install threshold based on the size and usage of your app to automatically reject or flag installs with unrealistically short or long install times.
Savvy marketers from top brands are already taking advantage of this personalized approach to fraud protection, which is paying off in significant cost savings.
Recently, a leading e-commerce app in the APAC region implemented a rule to prevent non-approved publishers and sites from sending fingerprinted traffic. After implementing the rule, 16% of the traffic sent from these sources was automatically flagged and rejected.
Another client, a global giant of gaming, set their iOS receipt validation rule on. When testing a new source, they found that 100% of the 11,000 installs were flagged and rejected for fraud. An additional benefit: no make-good negotiation was required … since the fraud prevention did not allow these installs to be attributed!
When fraud strikes, the marketers that leverage Singular’s Fraud Prevention strike back with high-tech fraud detection and prevention. But this is just the beginning. We’re dedicated to further innovating our Fraud Prevention to keep up with the changing face of ad fraud.
Want to see how much you could be saving with next-level fraud prevention? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager for a complimentary fraud audit.