Recognizing Ad-Fraud Diversionary Tactics

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Agencies and ad tech vendors help to manage display advertising on the website. Whenever you detect an advert, it is important to report the fraudster to the agency or ad tech vendor to get your refund. This will result in loss of revenue from the agency or ad tech host. Such may result in the hosting service provider creating diversionary tactics so as not take responsibility for the fraud. Ad watcher gives you a plausible way of detecting and mitigating the fraudster. However, in some cases, we require more than mitigation to bring the fraudster to justice and may seek the aid of hosting agencies as well as tech vendors. As you are bringing reports to the agencies and ad tech vendors look out for the following diversionary tactics.


After making an ad fraud report and your agency and tech vendors attempt to justify that, the marketing campaign had high visibility, which should give an indication of diversionary tactic. All they are trying to do is to divert you from the fraud problem and justify the traffic made on the site, but remember the traffic did not translate into sales and that should be the key factor.  Visibility measurements can be easily faked and hence cannot be used as proof neither for nor against fraud.

Production of Click Reports

Agencies and tech vendors may also generate click reports in form of spreadsheets as evidence against fraud. These reports will contain information such as locations, days of the week, operating systems, browsers, an hour of the day, which cannot necessarily prove fraud. Carefully scrutinize such reports and so not accept them, as they prove nothing in your case.

Use of Buzzwords

Service providers use many buzzwords in an effort to overwhelm.  They use a lot of brand names and acronyms that are aimed to intimidate and discredit you. They try to excessively reassure but in the end raise more scepticism. Always verify any information that your provider gives to find the underlying cause of the issue and arm yourself with relevant evidence. Always demand transparency to prevent being short-changed in your dealings.

Fraud Detection Metrics

Service providers provide non-human traffic metrics from ad fraud detection vendors to justify the absence of fraud. In such a scenario, demand data from multiple sources and breakdown from each vendor. Insist on transparency and verify the figures on your own. Automated vendors have their own vulnerabilities that affect their accuracy.

According to the bot baseline fraud report, economic losses due to ad fraud cases are decreasing. However, there are still risk factors in areas such as traffic sourcing from inorganic sources, desktop display and video spending, mobile app environments and mobile web display purchases as well as mobile web video pay per click. This can be enhanced through demand for transparency for sourced traffic, non-payment for non-human traffic in media contracts, avoiding excessive restrictions, encouraging Media Rating Council-accredited third-party fraud detection on walled gardens and seeking the support of the Trustworthy Accountability Group.