Saving over $1 million in fraudulent ad spend by blocking fraud with Protect360

Miles customer success story - featured


Saved in fraudulent ad spend in first month


Increase in media partners after using Protect360

In just one month, Protect360 saved Miles $1.1M in fraudulent ad spend and improved media optimization by cleaning their data of fraud.


Founded in 2016 in Silicon Valley, Miles is an all-in-one rewards app for all types of travel globally. 

Miles users can earn reward miles by taking any mode of transportation, including plane, train, subway, bus, boat, bicycle, and even foot travel. With the miles they earn, users can shop at retailers such as Walgreens, Garmin, Getaround, Shipt, Pandora, Ray-Ban, Chewy, and Home Chef.

The Miles rewards program also attempts to make travel more efficient and eco-friendly overall. By incentivizing users to take alternative modes of transportation, Miles can help lower pollution, reduce traffic, and provide sound data for how to improve an area’s transportation system. 


The primary goal for Miles’s one-person digital marketing team was to increase user growth in the US and Japan while keeping customer acquisition cost (CAC) low. They found initial success running their campaigns with two of the most established media partners in the industry.

Seeking additional growth, Miles decided to test a few new media partners that bill marketers based on a cost per action/conversion or CPA. Early data showed these partners were successfully driving sign-up conversions at a low cost, so Miles began pushing more budget their way. 

However, once these CPA-based partners started driving significant traffic, Miles’s Customer Success Manager (CSM) at AppsFlyer noticed a large spike in ad fraud, primarily from bot traffic, flooding Miles’s user acquisition activity with fake users.

One week after ramping up with these new partners, Miles’s fraudulent installs had grown by 57% week over week, while fraudulent in-app events had grown by an alarming 315% week over week.  

Fraudulent bot activity is malicious code designed to create fake users out of thin air, interact with ads through a series of actions meant to mimic real users, and steal advertising money. If bots go unnoticed, they can cause severe damage to a marketer’s ad budget, draining it in exchange for fake users who offer zero value.

This fraudulent activity was not only causing Miles to optimize off of fake user data, but was also increasing Miles’s media cost with the new partners who were billing for each additional sign-up conversion attributed to their campaigns.  


AppsFlyer’s base level of fraud protection, provided to all customers, is typically sufficient for customers advertising only with select, well-established media partners. When adding additional partners to the media mix, a more robust anti-fraud solution is required to identify and block more sophisticated types of fraud at scale.

After seeing Miles’s in-app event fraud rate eclipse 90%, the AppsFlyer CSM proactively implemented a trial of AppsFlyer’s Protect360. Protect360 offers comprehensive fraud protection for marketers, with both install and CPA fraud protection among its advanced anti-fraud suite. 

Leveraging the largest dataset in the mobile advertising industry, Protect360 identifies new and existing fraud patterns faster and better than any other anti-fraud solution. It automatically identifies and blocks fraudulent installs and in-app events in real-time, as well as blocks sophisticated fraudulent installs that can only be identified after attribution occurs.

Protect360’s anti-fraud logic adapts to each app’s user behavior patterns to reach optimal accuracy, while also allowing marketers to introduce their own anti-fraud logic via a customizable validation rules engine. 

In an effort to streamline the billing reconciliation process and maintain transparent communication with media partners, AppsFlyer automatically flags fraudulent installs and in-app events in its partner postbacks. 

Additionally, marketers can set up automated monthly reports that tell partners which events or installs they should bill for and which ones were fraudulent. 

The above, alongside other partner-focused features make fraud protection a joint effort, helping media partners remove fraud from their media offering.


In its first month of activation alone, Protect360 saved Miles from paying $1.1M USD to their CPA-based media partners for fraudulent in-app events. During that month, Protect360 blocked all 439,375 fraudulent in-app events, which accounted for 97% of all non-organic in-app events.

AppsFlyer’s free trial of Protect360 saved us $1.1M in fraudulent ad spend in the first month alone.

Samantha Barton, Director of Growth

After the trial period ended, Miles recognized that Protect360 is a must-have for their organization and user acquisition efforts.

We love AppsFlyer’s data transparency and digestibility. The fraud data from Protect360 helped us properly shift budget to the best campaigns so that we’re driving higher retention rates and lower acquisition costs.

Samantha Barton, Director of Growth

Since implementing Protect360, Miles has been able to confidently scale up their  campaigns with a plethora of media partners while regularly testing new ones. New CPA-based partners are told upfront that AppsFlyer data must be the source of truth for billing, with Protect360 acting as the quality measuring stick. 

Six months later, Miles is enjoying dramatically higher quality traffic from its media partners, who have tried to stop sending traffic they know they will not get credit for. Miles’s non-organic in-app event fraud rate has dropped from 97% to just 4%, while their non-organic install fraud rate has dropped from 75% to 11%. 

Even with some fraudulent traffic still trickling in from partners, Miles can optimize and monitor their ad spend with confidence, knowing Protect360 will clean their attribution data of all fraud.   

Additionally, Miles has increased their reach and diversified their media strategy by going from only two media partners to over 60. Despite the increase in partners, billing reconciliation remains an easy lift for Miles because of AppsFlyer’s automated reporting for partners.

As a one-person team, Protect360 has enabled me to confidently scale with over 60 media partners while ensuring we only pay for legitimate conversions. Despite see over 97% in-app event fraud from CPA-based partners, we haven’t had any problems reconciling billing. Setting up partners with automated AppsFlyer fraud reports and flagging fraud in real-time via postbacks really mitigates the hassle of trying to dig into the data with each partner.

Samantha Barton, Director of Growth
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