One form of internet advertising fraud, known as “click fraud” or “pay-per-click fraud,” involves the intentional manipulation of website traffic statistics. Advertisers using the standard pay-per-click model do so in the hopes that each click on their ad will result in a new customer. Click fraud takes place when malicious actors use automated clicking software to make it appear as though a big number of people are clicking on an advertiser’s links but, in reality, very few of those clicks will result in revenue for the advertiser. Know more about Know more about click fraud protection.
Conceiving A Click-Based Scam
In most cases of widespread click fraud, a bot or other program is used to pose as a human visitor to the targeted website. The purpose of the bot’s repeated ad clicks is to make the platform believe it is communicating with a human user who is interested in making a purchase. The advertising networks and advertisers are also likely to suspect click fraud if they see a huge number of clicks coming from a single computer. However, fraudsters can get around this by utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) to reroute bot traffic through IP addresses that are constantly changing. They can commit click fraud without being caught by using multiple computers in different locations.
In a fraud campaign, scammers may not use legitimate websites to promote their goods but rather sites that have been set up for that reason. Because there is nothing of value for visitors to this site, it is unlikely to receive any organic traffic. Once the advertising is live, bots flood the system with fake visitors and clicks, which the scammer then charges the affiliate program’s owner for.
Another tactic that bad actors use to generate cash is to make it look like a publisher is clicking on its ads. The goal is to force the advertising network to cut ties with the publication.
Varieties of Click Fraud
- Click fraud can take many forms and be committed by a wide variety of actors with various motivations. Some examples of click fraud are:
Ad fraud. To generate income, publishers develop websites that feature banner and text adverts.
- Robots designed to commit click fraud. This technique produces clicks by having bots automatically interact with advertisements.
- Content mills. Businesses will pay people to do nothing but click on ads all day. Wherever labour is inexpensive, you’ll likely find a click farm.
- Stuffing of pixels. Publishers typically place adverts on websites using a 1×1 pixel space. Users may not realize it, but they are producing cash for the ad-hosting website every time they view an ad.
- Ad stacking, to be specific. The adverts are hidden from the users like pixel stuffing, but in this case, they are stacked on top of each other.
- Geographical forgery. Using a virtual private network (VPN) to conceal their location is a common tactic for perpetrators of click fraud.
- Fraudulent video playback. Con artists often employ automated software to watch commercials on videos. This results in income for the website hosting the ads.
- Misuse of clicks by competitors. The advertising budget of the target is inflated as a result of frequent clicks from a rival provider.