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The State of Mobile Ad Fraud 2016

08 February, 2017
The state of Mobile Ad Fraud
In an effort to bring transparency to the $8.2 billion dollar ad fraud problem, ClicksMob has produced a report that gives key insights into mobile app ad fraud activity.

In January 2016 ClicksMob launched Fraud Fighter, a preventative technology designed to address the rapidly growing threat of ad fraud by providing full transparency for all mobile traffic generated and driven by ClicksMob. Fraud Fighter performs a series of tests in order to systematically detect and block all fraudulent traffic on a 24/7 basis. To accomplish this, the company designed and built a specialized department tasked solely with tracking new methods of fraud. ClicksMob’s ad fraud department expertly uses Fraud Fighter to routinely conduct new testing methods, ensuring that only the best traffic is being sent to ClicksMob’s campaigns. In order to compile this report, ClicksMob analyzed all attempted instances of ad fraud perpetrated against its global mobile traffic as detected by Fraud Fighter in 2016.

Below are some of the highlighted findings within Clicksmob’s Mobile App Ad Fraud Report:

  • Fraudsters work when you don’t: ClicksMob found that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the most targeted days for attempted fraudulent advertising, with Fridays drawing 18% of total attempts.
  • Gaming apps are the most attractive apps for fraudsters: Of the top 5 most targeted verticals, gaming claimed 39% of the total fraud attempts, double that of the runner-up, LifeStyle. With higher payouts because the user lifetime value is longer, gaming apps are a much more attractive target for fraudsters.
  • Fraudsters favor leisure apps: ClicksMob’s data suggests that the top 5 verticals most targeted by ad fraud are: Games, Lifestyle, Shopping, Travel & Local, and Sports.
  • Fraudsters aim the most at apps downloaded in Japan: Out of the countries most targeted by ad fraud, Android-based fraudulent attempts in Japan accounted for 12% of the total detected fraudulent activity. On iOS, fraudulent traffic attempts in Japan accounted for 11% out of the total detected fraudulent activity.
  • The top 5 most targeted countries by fraudsters vary by device type: For iOS, ClicksMob detected Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore and the United States as the top 5 most targeted by fraudsters. For Android, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, United States and United Kingdom make up the most targeted by fraudsters.
  • iOS is more prone to fraudulent traffic attempts than Android: According to the fraud attempts detected by ClicksMob’s Fraud Fighter, iOS was 50% percent more prone to fraudulent traffic than Android.