Click Fraud: What It Is and How to Prevent It
What is Click Fraud?
Ad scams and click fraud are common cyber threats that can be used to disrupt online businesses. Click fraud is a type of fraud where malicious scammers generate false clicks on online ads, with the intent of generating costs for advertisers or driving users away from the target website. This form of fraud can also be used to generate fraudulent traffic and divert web users to phishing websites, malware, or other malicious content.
Merchants who advertise can be vulnerable to this type of fraud if they are not careful, as criminals can easily create hundreds of fake accounts and generate bogus clicks to exhaust the advertiser’s budget quickly. As a result, merchants can find themselves spending thousands of dollars on ad campaigns that generate no real business or leads.
Tips to Fight Click Fraud:
Count Clicks — Keeping track of clicks can go a long way in protecting a merchant’s business. Analyzing types and amounts of clicks received, where the clicks are coming from, and looking into any skeptical activity, like identifying a sudden spike in clicks from a specific IP address, can help businesses catch click fraud before it gets worse.
Employ a Monitoring Tool — Fraud software can help quickly track and identify click fraud by investigating suspicious activity like bots, multiple clicks, and clicks that are invalid. There are many options for monitoring tools, so look for one that is cost-effective, dependable and best works with a company’s environment.
Prohibit Suspicious IP Addresses — Another effective mechanism is to identify any IP addresses that cause activity deemed skeptical, whether that be unusually high or low click-through rates, or just odd patterns from the same IP address. Once a merchant identifies the IP address, they can blacklist it to ensure it never reaches their site again. This eliminates the opportunity for click fraud and protects businesses from the potential threat.
Report Fraud Quickly — It’s important to report click fraud when a merchant suspects it so that companies don’t fall victim to scammers. Gather IP addresses, time stamps of the occurrences, and create an incident report that can be sent to the ad platform or click fraud monitoring tool. If you’re using Google Ads, learn how Google investigates click fraud. In addition, informing the payment processor or advertiser about the problem can help them determine what the next best steps are.
Learn More About Preventing Fraud:
Contact us online or call 1-800-621-8931.
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