Mobile App Fraud - How Fraudsters Do it

Picture of By Sven Hezel
By Sven Hezel
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2-minute read
Article Topics

Mobile App Fraud – How Fraudsters Achieve it

mobile app fraud, mobile ad fraud

What exactly is Mobile App Fraud or Mobile CPI fraud and what can companies do to protect themselves? Lets take a look

What does CPI (Cost per Install) Fraud mean? How does it work and how can I protect my business from further damage?

It’s the hard truth, but Fraud exists anywhere you go. Governments, Politicians and guess what, there are also fraudsters in the marketing and advertising industry. Especially performance based marketing is filled with suspicious activities. Fraudsters are stealing hard earned commissions from advertisers and networks like you.

According to this article by Fortune Magazine Russian hackers have generated 3$ – 5$ million per day through Ad Fraud. Imagine how much money your business can lose if you don’t take the necessary steps to detect your fraudulent conversions.

What is Digital Ad Fraud & Mobile App Fraud?

In short, advertising fraud stands for a variety of crimes such as cookie stuffing, using bots/emulators to mimic human behaviour, Ad stacking, laundered ad impressions, fake installs and much more. Fraudsters steal billions of dollars every year and often the bad guys get away unnoticed.

No matter how good your campaign, the quality of your targeting or how viral your campaign will be, if you don’t pay attention to fraudulent activities, you will eventually loose money. Due to our research over the last 5 years, we have seen the following types of fraud as the most common ones in the industry:

Emulators – Click Spam, Cookie Stuffing, Attribution Fraud & Ad Stacking

click spam


Ad Stacking and Impression Stacking describes the process to hide ads behind another and ad, so ultimately only the top ad can be seen whereas the others will remain unseen. It’s almost impossible for normal users to notice this type of fraud.

click farms


A tactic that is heavily used by developing countries, where low-paid workers (often using VPNs)are clicking on advertising that they have no interest of (Picture below). These tactics are heavily used by countries such as China, India, Bangladesh and Venezuela.

click spam, anti fraud solution


Click Spam is a kind of Mobile App Fraud and is one of the fastest growing fraud problems in the industry across all verticals. We explain the tactics of Click Spam in more detail in our help.
Keep in mind that this problem is more complex than it looks at first glance. Don’t underestimate how many conversions are lost due to Click Spam / Click Injection, which can be a devastating threat to your business.


Global Statistics Fraudhield Jan. 2022

Read More here

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