Impression fraud

Impression fraud is a type of mobile ad fraud where criminals create the appearance that an ad got a view, even if it really didn’t.

What is impression fraud?

Impression fraud (aka display fraud) happens when criminals defraud advertisers and networks running CPM media – usually CPM and video view campaigns. This means the more impressions these fraudsters rack up, the more money they stand to make by making it seem like an impression occurred (when in fact it really didn’t).

Common tactics of impression fraud include pixel stuffing, pop-unders, and ad stacking. Fraudulent impressions are often sent by apps that appear to be otherwise legitimate, bots, and unsavory publishers.

Impression fraud detection:

Wondering how to detect impression fraud? Take a look for media sources, campaigns, SiteIDs, and even geographies with high numbers of impressions, low click rates, and substandard install and retention rates.

Real-time protection:

It’s highly advised to block impression reports from IP addresses known to send fraudulent actions and when evaluating an IP blacklist solution, a mix of industry-standard blacklists and economies of scale (massive, first-party data) will help ensure maximum protection.

Setting up automated alerts to look for SiteIDs or networks with particularly low impression-to-click conversion rates at scale will also help identify cases of impression fraud.

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