Global digital ad spend is estimated to reach $457.85 billion by 2022 but ad fraud, currently the second most profitable type of organized crime, has polluted the digital ecosystem. Digital advertisers need intelligent data to fight this invisible crime. 

Immense planning and creation go into a display advertising campaign.  It’s critical for advertisers to protect their ad spend. A roundup of recent statistics reveal the current scope of ad fraud.

Juniper Research forecasts that advertisers will lose $42 billion of ad spend globally this year to fraudulent activities committed via online, mobile and in-app advertising.

A recent State of Mobile Fraud report identified $2.3bn worth of fraudulent activity in the first half of 2019 alone. The global cost of ad fraud generated via fake users and install hijacking has been put as high as $30 billion. Mobile fraud is the largest source of IVT (invalid traffic – used to verify ad fraud).

The report, from Integral Ad Science (IAS), an ad verification company, found global viewability averages surpassed 60% across all ad formats and environments in the first half of 2019. Ads are becoming more viewable worldwide. Fraud on desktop video ads dropped 1.0% worldwide, achieving the highest average viewability rate worldwide at 71.9%. It was 69.4% in the same period a year prior. 

A report released by the ANA earlier this year said there has been an 11% reduction in fraudulent ad buys between 2017 and 2019. That’s great news but there’s still a long way to go before advertisers can feel safe.

How does ad fraud occur? One common practice is to enlist botnets to execute fraud by directing multiple connected devices to visit sites and click on ads. The worst method of ad fraud being applied today? The use of real humans to operate click farms to receive compensation for producing clicks and impressions with no real interest in the ad content. Other ad fraud scenarios involve non-viewable ads or ads which real users cannot interact with accurately because ads are unable to be closed or they appear underneath other content.

One important factor: in every fraud attempt abnormal data is produced. This data is being applied to create advanced technology capable of recognizing and impeding fraud to protect advertisers. tribeOS is one company that’s leading the evolution of such technology with Ad Protector – a proprietary suite of cybersecurity tools that blocks bots and stops click farms from draining campaign budgets. 

But, the tribeOS development team has not stopped there. Recently, tribeOS has released a new online tool in their fight against ad fraud: the Ad Fraud Calculator which instantly reveals how much of an advertiser’s ad spend is being lost to ad fraud using industry data from 3 trustworthy industry sources: Juniper, Cheq, and Statista.

Matt Gallant, tribeOS CEO, added, “We’re excited to make this tool available at no cost. After all, ad fraud is already costing advertisers enough. tribeOS is the only display ad platform that makes stopping ad fraud its primary mission.”

Ad fraud remains the biggest challenge digital advertisers face in today’s world. Fortunately, there are great companies performing the research and creating the technologies that will make ad fraud crime a thing of the past. Now, advertisers that hope to win this war must become educated in ad fraud and the new options available to stop it.

Those interested in testing out the Ad Fraud calculator can do so by clicking HERE