What are the main challenges in detecting Ad Fraud?

Ad Fraud & Invalid Traffic
Last updated: August 16, 2019 | by Kean Graham
challenges decting ad fraus

This post was most recently updated on August 16th, 2019

Detecting ad fraud is not easy.  There are many types of ad fraud, and fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to commit to their so-called craft. There is also no legislation against ad fraud, so it as a low risk, high paying target.

There are also no standards as of this time with regards to detecting ad fraud, so publishers are pretty much on their own to do their research. We will discuss each of these challenges below.

Ad Fraud methods are always improving

Click bots are used to click links and generate traffic. The more advanced ones are even made to imitate human behavior making software unable to separate real clicks from fake clicks and good traffic from bad traffic.

With human clickers, it’s even more difficult. Real people make the clicks, but they are hired to do this, and they are not interested in the ads that they click.  While it is possible to create a rule to check if the clicks are being made too quickly, it is not a full-proof way to determine whether the clicks are good or not.

Methods such as iFrame stuffing and pixel stuffing are also tricky to spot because they are not visible on the screen. However, they are there, and they generate revenue for fraudsters. The same thing happens with ad stacking – this is when fraudsters pile up ads one on top of each other.

Even though a site visitor only sees the ad on top, the fraudster charges advertisers for all ads stacked on top of each other.

There is no legislation against fraud

A third of all money spent on digital advertising goes into fraudsters’ pockets. Ad fraud has a high payout potential, making it an attractive prospect.

The penalty for ad fraud is also murky at best. It falls into a grey area for many jurisdictions. As a result, fraudsters see it as a limited risk compared to other illegal activities where penalties are severe. Even if they get caught, they’re not at all worried about it.

No industry standards for identifying and addressing Ad Fraud

There are currently no industry standards for measuring and addressing Ad Fraud. As such, it is difficult to compare which ad fraud solutions are the most effective and which ones address the specific needs of a company.

When searching for the right ad fraud solution, it’s up to you to do your research. You should be aware of the effects of ad fraud, see how these solutions measure them and mitigate against them, and put them to the test.

Just like when buying a car, you should try to find a solution that allows you to test it out before committing, so you know what you’re getting into.


Detecting and fighting ad fraud isn’t easy. You should be aware of the techniques used by perpetrators and why they’re doing it. You need to find the right ad fraud solution and test it out so you can minimize your losses, if not completely secure your digital advertising budget.

With Monetizemore’s Traffic Cop, we help you combat ad fraud with our proprietary machine learning algorithms and fraudulent traffic fingerprinting. When implementing Traffic Cop, you’ll be able to block any forms of invalid traffic, whether general or sophisticated and prevent your ads from serving to them.

Start protecting your ad networks accounts, limit risk, and combat ad fraud by signing up to Traffic Cop today!

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