App Campaign Fraud

Detecting and Preventing App Campaign Fraud: ‘A Quick Guide’

In the current landscape of app marketing, where there is an abundance of publishers and partners, coupled with the emergence of new and varied forms of fraudulent activity in app campaigns, it has become increasingly challenging to detect and identify these fraudulent practices while also selecting the most suitable partner. Here are some common methods of fraud that are currently happening and my thoughts on this:

  • Click Injection (One of most common and super difficult to detect via tools): Publishers can use click injection fraud to steal credit for an app install that the user would have made anyway. This is done by triggering a fake click just before the legitimate install happens.
  • Click Spamming: Publishers can generate a large number of clicks that never result in a download or install, just to boost their click-through rate and get paid for the clicks.
  • SDK Spoofing: Publishers can also use SDK spoofing to falsify app installs and make it seem like the app was downloaded from their network, even if it wasn’t.
  • Fake Installs: Some publishers may use bots or other automated tools to generate fake app installs, which can make it appear as though the app is more popular than it actually is.
  • To find out if fraud is happening in your app campaign, there are several steps you can take:
  • Monitor Performance: Keep an eye on the performance of your app campaign to see if there are any anomalies or unexpected patterns.
  • Track Sources: Track the sources of your app installs to see if any particular publisher is generating a disproportionately high number of installs.
  • Check Clicks: Check the number of clicks your campaign is generating, and make sure they are coming from legitimate sources.
  • Analyze Data: Analyze your data to see if there are any unusual patterns or outliers that could indicate fraud.
  • Use Fraud Detection Tools & be vigilant: There are various fraud detection tools (Appsflyers P360, Mfilterit) available that can help you identify fraudulent activity in your app campaign. However, there is some activity like ‘click injection’ which may not get detected many times in these tools, and hence, by staying vigilant and taking the appropriate measures, you can help protect your app campaign from fraudulent activity and ensure that you are getting the results you expect.

Protect your app campaigns from fraud and ensure your marketing efforts are yielding accurate results. Stay vigilant, use fraud detection tools, and implement the strategies outlined in this article to safeguard your app campaigns. Start taking action today to safeguard your app campaigns and optimize your marketing efforts. For more insights and assistance, please feel free to reach out to us at


Ravi Agarwal (Industry Lead – OTT & New Tech)

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