--Perpetrators of fraud work when you don’t: The report found that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the most targeted days for attempted fraudulent advertising.
--Gaming apps are the most attractive apps for fraudsters: Of the top five 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: After Games and Lifestyle, next most popular categories were Shopping, Travel and Local.
--Fraudsters target apps downloaded in Japan the most: 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 five most targeted countries by fraudsters vary by device type: For iOS, the report detected Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore, and the U.S. as the top five countries most targeted by fraudsters. For Android, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the U.S., and U.K. were most targeted by fraudsters.
Ad fraud has changed between 2016 vs. 2015, according to ClicksMob. For example, the number of companies in the industry that finally started talking about ad fraud has grown. “Until 2016, ad fraud was the industry’s best kept secret, and no one wanted to go on the record and talk about it. In 2016, we not only saw companies coming out and talking about it, but we saw money being invested in anti-fraud technologies, and initiatives such as anti-fraud coalitions being started,” Avishai Shoushan, CEO of ClicksMob, told Real-Time Daily via email. Shoushan said that fighting ad fraud requires companies to be close to media sources and app developers to gather data, develop methods, and technologies.
In 2015, ad quality wasn’t a top subject for advertisers, he said -- a condition that changed in 2016. “Fraud is a subset of quality, so in 2016, quality (and therefore fraud) became a focus for advertisers. In some cases, advertisers even showed a preference for acquiring a lower number of new users, provided these users were of high quality,” Shoushan said. Advertisers’ demand for transparency also drove the ad fraud debate.
Ad fraud is becoming more sophisticated in 2017, according to Shoushan. He projected that attacks will become more targeted and tailored, per application. “Instead of attacking a whole bunch of apps, fraudsters will develop specific mechanisms for specific apps.” Combating this form of targeted fraud will require a mix of big data analysis, algorithms for active prevention, and more connectivity between different parties in the ecosystem (advertisers, agencies, tracking companies and ad networks), according to Shoushan.
Also, "In 2017, we expect to see fraudsters not only simulating downloads and early engagement, but developing the sophistication to simulate ‘deeper’ user events like in-app purchases and the number of days users spend engaging with an app,” Shoushan said. ClicksMob summed up its findings in a blog post.