How Much Did Ad Fraud Increase in 2020? Ad Fraud 2020 Report

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Most marketing forecasts and predictions have collapsed due to the effects of Coronavirus. However, some industries such as training and health, home education, digital services, and mobile apps have skyrocketed during these tough times. Ad fraud rates have also increased with the increase in the app usage. According to Statista, digital advertising fraud would grow exponentially within 2018 and 2022, from 19 billion to 44 billion U.S. dollars.

We will discuss how much ad fraud increased in 2020 and ad fraud predictions for the future. Here is the ad fraud 2020 report.


–      Ad Fraudsters Make More Money than Drug Dealers

According to J. Koetsier from Forbes magazine, ad fraudsters make more money than drug dealers, earning 5 to 20 million dollars a year. It is estimated that ad spend will hit $42 billion in 2019. In a sector that reached this magnitude size, fraudulent activity is inevitable. With advertising and ad fraud grow simultaneously, real-time ad detection became an urgent need. Naturally, advertisers have gotten more careful about ad fraud and use ad fraud detection systems like Interceptd.


–      Effects of Covid-19 Pandemic

Ad fraud tends to rise during Coronavirus downturns is no exception. Between April and June of 2020, approximately 9% of publisher page views were fraudulent activities. In the U.S., the COVID-19 downturn merged with the elections and cause increasing ad fraud. It is assumed that between 10% and 30% of the 1.3 billion dollars digital ad spending in the US presidential election was lost to ad fraud.


–      Distribution of Fraud Types in Different Sectors

As some industries boomed during COVID-19, fraud rates have also been rising alongside. Globally, fraud rates in gaming have increased, especially with the fraud types of fake users/bots. The entertainment sector is accused of click spam and fake users as fraud types. SDK Spoofing fraud type mostly occurred in e-commerce, business, and food & drink sectors.


–      Where is Ad Fraud Heading in 2021?

Mobile ad fraud has bumped in 2020. The rate of click fraud activity jumped, especially during the peak lockdown in March and April 2020. As technology continues to evolve, ad fraudulent also evolves. Apart from the technology, Coronavirus Pandemic contributed to growth in ad fraud, as we mentioned before. It is expected to have a consistent trend in fraud growth during 2021.

In 2021, App Tracking Transparency (ATT) of iOS 14 will cause most users to opt-out from sharing their IDFA; and deterministic attribution as we know it will become almost non-existent. Fraudsters will have more chance to fool attribution by injecting fake clicks; because MMPs will rely only on fingerprinting – a probabilistic attribution method. Apple’s SKAdnetwork will make the deterministic attribution; however, there is nothing stopping device farms from generating a high volume of fake installs; and the lack of transparency in the conversion values prevents marketers from separate fraud from low conversion.


To conclude, ad fraud grows consistently due to technological advancement, and ad fraudsters find new ways for fraudulent activities. Moreover, mobile ad fraud has also increased due to the mobile app usage increase. You wonder whether your company is a victim of ad fraud, you can read “Powerful 6 Signals That Show You Have an Ad Fraud Problem”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *