Mobile ad fraud is a real and growing problem. Since 2011, we have been working with the world’s largest advertisers to provide total clarity across their mobile attribution and marketing analytics.
As the Attribution Authority, we provide cutting-edge and comprehensive solutions to today’s fraud challenges. Our robust and constantly evolving set of capabilities aim to actively combat every type of mobile fraud at every stage; from clicks to installs, revenue and engagement.
While the responsibility and the liability for selling fraudulent traffic lies with the ad networks selling this traffic, mobile marketers often lack the expertise or resources to actively identify and address mobile fraud. The Active Fraud Suite is designed to give mobile marketers the clarity and confidence they need to optimize their campaigns and improve their performance. For those ready to dive into their fraud data, our Active Fraud Insights offering provides marketers with the data they need to take action.
Our comprehensive mobile fraud solutions utilize the industry’s largest mobile marketing database, proprietary big-data algorithms, deep industry experience and real-time machine learning to deliver the tools and capabilities mobile marketers need to actively stop mobile fraud in its tracks. With full performance data integrity, mobile app marketers working with AppsFlyer enjoy more accurate performance data and a distinct competitive advantage.
Please note that due to the growing complexity and sophistication of mobile fraud, we cannot disclose the full scope of our anti-fraud activities or capabilities. With that being said, below are some of the measures we take to prevent every type of mobile fraud.
The Vault is AppsFlyer’s proprietary, first-party anti-fraud database and the foundation of our Active Fraud Suite. The Vault is the largest mobile app database in the world, over five times larger than that of our closest competitor.
The Vault contains device-level metadata for over 98% of the world’s smartphones and attribution and engagement metadata for over 20 billion app installs. In total, this adds up to nine billion dollars of yearly mobile performance data measured and cataloged.
This enormous anti-fraud database powers advanced algorithms at unparalleled scale. Furthermore, machine learning capabilities monitor billions of interactions each month, detecting new sources of fraud with remarkable speed and efficiency.
With over 1 trillion events tracked every year and device-level data on over 3 billion smartphones, The Vault’s cross-publisher live database dynamically identifies and blocks fraudulent IPs, user agents and device IDs. Our algorithms actively monitor billions of mobile ad interactions every day, automatically verifying legitimate activity and cataloging suspect or mismatched IP addresses, user agents and device IDs in real-time.
Our robust statistical anomaly detection and machine learning continuously learn and adapt, improving our ability to detect outliers (abnormal trends or events) and potential fraud-driven anomalies. For example, in one case we identified a suspicious set of installs. A quick analysis revealed that these were not new installs, but bot installs and app updates. This saved the client $300,000 in cost-per-install media over just one weekend!
What started as click-to-install distribution modeling (analyzing the average click-to-install time per channel, device and source) has evolved into a robust set of big-data models. Typical anomalies our system aims to detect include mean-time-to-install (MTTI), geographic distribution, click volume by IP address and device ID, user agent versus IP benchmarks and more.
Our industry-leading full raw data reports provide marketers with total access to all of install, engagement and purchase data. These reports feature precise timestamps for every action and engagement (including uninstall data), so you can track every reported user action. These raw data reports have been used to power publisher-specific anomaly detection and fraud protection. For example, using our raw data reports an advertiser recently discovered that their previous attribution provider missed nearly one-in-four fraudulent installs. Additionally, many advertisers and partners also use their AppsFlyer raw data reports as invoices for performance payments or to settle billing and performance discrepancies.
Furthermore, raw data reports on blocked clicks, installs and in-app events are available as part of our Active Fraud Insights offering.
Install fraud is a real and growing threat. Once activated by the advertiser, app install validation works in tandem with DeviceRank™ to prevent app install fraud on iOS. With every app installation reported by the app, we query the originating app store’s servers to validate that the install data matches our records.
As marketers shift their focus to ROI and bottom-line performance, scammers are increasingly looking to capitalize on purchase fraud. Savvy fraudsters simulate false purchase events to inflate the perceived value of their installs. As an attribution and analytics platform, we work hard to verify that every purchase event is legitimate. Our dynamic receipt validation actively detects and filters out non-validated purchase events across both iOS and Android.
Our native, secure, post-compilation SDK uses secure verification mechanisms (e.g. hashing) as well as DeviceRank™ ratings to authenticate genuine device installations and in-app events. These mechanisms are also utilized to prevent spoofed events due to man-in-the-middle intrusions and retransmission fraud. In contrast, other SDK solutions are often easy to imitate, manipulate and simulate, opening the doors to fraudulent install, engagement and purchase event reporting.
DeviceRankTM is the world’s first and only device-based fraud protection technology. By rating devices based on a rich, cross-app install and engagement metadata profile, DeviceRankTM identifies fraudulent devices 3x to 12x better than industry standard fraud solutions. Installs and engagement from devices with a DeviceRankTM of C (i.e. fraudulent devices) are not attributed.
Active Fraud Insights is a premium offering, providing serious marketers with deep insights into their fraudulent and suspicious activity. This offering has three components.
At AppsFlyer, we sit at the nexus of the mobile app industry, maintaining an open ecosystem that includes over 2,000 partners and 10,000 advertisers. As the industry’s largest trusted third party, we are relied upon as the Attribution Authority. This position of responsibility obligates us to take action when we identify bad actors. In the last year alone, we sent dozens of warnings to partners exhibiting suspicious behavior. Ultimately, we had to remove several networks from our integrated partner program for sending fraudulent traffic and failing to comply with our requirements. These actions are both unfortunate and imperative to the continued success of everyone in the mobile ecosystem.
The world’s largest advertisers trust AppsFlyer with their attribution and marketing analytics. Heavily security conscious companies, such as McAfee, Credit Karma and DocuSign all rely on AppsFlyer to provide the highest quality mobile attribution and marketing analytics data.
We are deeply committed to providing mobile marketers with absolute data clarity and integrity. DeviceRank™ as well as all of our core mobile fraud protection and prevention services are provided as part of our standard offering. Our pay-once per attributed install pricing, provides marketers with predictable attribution and analytics costs, removing concerns of increased fees due to fraudulent clicks or in-app engagement.