- According to the new “Mobile Ad Fraud Report” from AppsFlyer the damage caused by ad fraud in app installations is down 30 percent to 1.6 billion US dollars.
- Greater awareness and protection have reduced the fraud rate when installing apps to 13.2 percent.
- Growing threat from in-app fraud and through post-attribution fraud.
The new report from AppsFlyer, provider of mobile attribution and marketing analytics, illustrates the global impact of fraud. The ad fraud on Android is more than 4.5 times higher than on iOS, and also amounts to the financial burden of fraud for apps in the financial sector in the first half of 2020 to $ 630 million.
Ad Fraud: Attempts at fraud hit rock bottom
“The majority of app marketers are now aware of the issue of fraud. Thanks to increased vigilance within the mobile ecosystem, attempts at fraud can be warded off better than ever: The Number of fraud cases in the last year has reached a low point across all genres “, explains Ben Jeger, Managing Director Central Europe at AppsFlyer, the development in the app market.
And he points out that there is not only good news: “The fraud rate rose again during the pandemic-related lockdown. From March 2020 to April 2020, marketers ran more aggressive marketing campaigns to reach customers during the increased demand period. That, in turn, called Fraudsters on the scene, who wanted to take a large piece of the pie and make high profits again. ”
Ad Fraud: An overview of important findings
- The global financial threat posed by fraud installing apps was $ 1.6 billion in the first half of 2020, down 30 percent from a year earlier. This is the result of a significant drop in the overall fraud rate for app installation, which averaged 13.2 percent in the first half of 2020.
- The average fraud rate in Europe is 80 percent lower than the global average. In Germany, the low point in the proportion of fraudulent installations was six percent in February and March 2020 compared to the world average of 13 percent in the same period.
- Gaming apps are largely successful in the fight against fraud. For non-gaming apps, 32 percent of the world’s non-organic installations are fraudulent, while gaming apps have a significantly lower rate of 3.8 percent.
- Stand in the non-gaming area in Europe Especially apps from the finance sector (50 percent) and shopping (30 percent) came under fire, which is mainly due to higher CPIs (cost per install) and larger marketing budgets.
- Android is the platform of choice for scammers. The fraud rate when installing apps on Android is over 4.5 times higher than on iOS. Android devices lead the world in terms of their market share because they have fewer restrictions on apps, which makes them a more attractive destination.
- Bot attacks continue to dominate: 62 percent of fraudulent installations are the result of bot attacks. In Germany, three quarters (75 percent) of fraud attacks are due to bots. Device farms make up twelve percent in this country, install hijacking is four percent and click flooding is nine percent. Install hijacking is a problem with gaming apps. Even if the bots top the list in Germany, this type of fraud already accounts for 29 percent of hardcore games, for example. A fact that is not surprising, because gaming apps are particularly deep and offer attractive points of attack through the possible in-app purchases and the associated CPAs.
- Post-attribution fraud is increasing: These are installations that cannot be blocked in real time. This type of advanced fraud technology climbed to 24 percent worldwide in January and February. In Germany, the post-attribution fraud rate was 16 percent in January and initially fell to 9 percent by April 2020 (globally to 12 percent). A new wave has appeared since May. The rate rose again to 11 percent.
Attempts at fraud occur in waves
“App marketers should by no means lull themselves into a false sense of security. No sooner have developers put the bolt on a possible gateway than resourceful fraudsters are already working on new ways to enrich themselves at the expense of the entire industry, ”says Ben Jeger. “Fraud usually occurs in waves and the losses are difficult to calculate for the individual marketer. Fraud’s global financial loss is still around $ 1.6 billion in the first half of 2020. A sum that is 30 percent lower than the same period last year, but still shows that fraud continues to be a serious threat represents. ”
Ad fraud – the effect of the coronavirus
The only significant exception to the downtrend in ad fraud occurred in March 2020 when many countries imposed strict lockdowns due to COVID-19. While the people stayed at home, it shot up Demand for mobile applications upwards. As a result, advertisers took more aggressive measures to acquire users, which in turn attracted fraudsters who tried to enrich their advertising budgets. As a result, the fraud rate rose nearly 25 percent globally in March compared to February. However, these attacks were mostly unsuccessful, which led to a similar decline in the following month.
The use of social apps skyrocketed during the lockdowns, which led to an increase in fraud cases in Germany from 11.5 percent to more than 29 percent. In some industries, such as entertainment, app marketers have been able to meet increased consumer demand while keeping their apps relatively secure from fraud. Of the Entertainment Apps Fraud in Germany remained between ten and 13 percent during the entire period of contact restrictions. Although the pandemic has brought about many changes, it is clear that it is still possible for the industry to maintain the positive trend of falling fraud rates.
About the methodology: The results of the report The State Of Mobile Ad Fraud – 2020 Edition are an anonymous aggregate of proprietary global data from 7 billion app installations across 173,000 apps. The EMEA region accounted for 1.1 billion installations of 63,000 apps.
AppsFlyer specializes in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, which enables marketers to expand their mobile business and be more innovative based on meaningful measurements and analysis solutions. AppsFlyer takes a customer-centric approach to helping more than 12,000 brands and more than 7,000 technology partners make better decisions every day. (sg)
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