DoubleVerify: Generative AI Driving 'Significant' Increase In Ad Fraud

DoubleVerify (DV) research has revealed a 23% surge in new fraud schemes and variants in 2023, compared with the previous year, according to the DV Fraud Lab.

The company attributed the “significant” increase in ad schemes to generative artificial intelligence (GAI), and fraudsters shifting focus to platforms and channels like connected TV (CTV) and streaming audio.

“Bot fraud commonly targets streaming environments such as CTV and audio, where fraudsters rely on falsified impression data to make it look like ads are delivering to real users,” states Roy Rosenfeld, head of the DV Fraud Lab.

Rosenfeld says that with AI, attackers can generate thousands of what appear to be authentic user agents that retrieve and facilitate end-user interaction with web content. Attackers can then use AI to mimic human behavior, making the pattern of bot traffic more difficult to detect.

The data -- scheduled for release at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity -- comes from DoubleVerify’s eighth annual Global Insights Report, which analyzed media quality and performance trends across more than one trillion impressions from about 2,000 brands in 100 markets.



The company notes that unprotected advertisers saw a fraud and sophisticated invalid traffic violation rate as high as 17%.

Violations include incidents of bot fraud, site fraud, app fraud, hijacked devices, nonhuman data center traffic and injected ad events, all of which illegitimately inflate online advertising impressions or data events to generate revenue. 

Bad actors are not just using AI. DoubleVerify found that falsified impression schemes are changing more rapidly, with the bot fraud scheme targeting streaming platforms spawning 269% more variants in 2023, for a total of 58% more streaming fraud schemes and variants in the year.

The data analyzed includes video and display impressions from January to December 2023 across desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and connected TV (CTV).

The study also includes a global survey conducted by Sapio, polling 1,000 advertisers across North America, LATAM, EMEA, and APAC.

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