Fraud Prevention in 3 Steps


Fraud prevention continues to be a hot topic in mobile marketing and the entire digital advertising ecosystem. Mobile can be a challenging environment for tracking fraud as there are many different types of mobile-install fraud. For this reason, we have put together the 3 steps which will help you in its prevention.

  1. Work hand in hand with your advertising partner

The closer the communication and integration between your advertising partner and yourself are, the easier it is to be one step ahead of fraud. Potentially, your biggest help here is to implement post-install-event-tracking to collect the real time data deeper into the funnel. The more steps are tracked, the easier is the detection of non-human and/or fraudulent behaviour.

If post-install activity is non-existent or very close to non-existent, it is a strong indicator of potential fraudulent activity. This, in combination with some other indicators can help you in flagging the source responsible for it.

  1. Recognize systematic patterns

Most importantly, the person behind the screen is the key to fraud protection. As much as machine learning helps (or harms) this industry, the human brain and attention to detail can detect systems that a machine cannot stop from happening.

Making sure to understand patterns in the traffic is fundamental to protect your advertisers from fraudulent behaviours. A “well-programmed” bot can hide its nature for a very long time but at one point it will start to replicate itself. In that reveal, a pattern can be detected and used to fight back. A typical pattern that can be seen in the current mobile fraud landscape is the extremely short click-to-install times in click-injection cases (TUNE).

  1. Blacklisting is key

The harder you are about blacklisting fraud flagged sources, IPs and publishers, the fewer times you will have to deal with the problem in the future. Certainly, this happens after a detailed verification process and should be done as granular as possible. Blacklisting is required and saves your advertiser a lot of money and saves you from future headaches. In an ideal world, it would be possible to help clean the whole ecosystem from a fraudulent source industry-wide, by just one detection and addition of it to a blacklist maintained by an objective host. That would make it harder for fraudsters to continuously play their hide-and-seek game with several partners one after the other. Since this is something future might or might not bring, for now make sure to protect your own system by cherishing your own blacklist.


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