New AppLift Study Reveals Global Mobile Programmatic Fraud Risks For Marketers

BERLIN, GERMANY and SAN FRANCISCO, CA and SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – AppLift, a leading mobile advertising technology company, today released the study, “Fighting Mobile Fraud In The Programmatic Era,” revealing that more than a third of mobile programmatic traffic is at risk of fraud. The report is composed of two parts, a quantitative study of based on first-party data from AppLift’s proprietary media buying platform, DataLift, and a comprehensive educational guide covering mobile fraud. Powered by internal heuristics as well as leading fraud prevention tool, Forensiq, the study found that campaigns running on both a CPC and CPI basis were less likely to be fraudulent than CPM campaigns.

DataLift’s fraud detection system found 34 percent of all mobile traffic to be at risk of fraud. With eMarketer predicting that U.S. mobile programmatic media buying will reach $20.45 billion by 2017, fraud detection is a major multi-billion concern for advertisers. AppLift distinguishes fraud into two categories: suspected fraud and high-risk fraud. The study revealed that 22 percent of overall mobile traffic is suspected of fraud, while 12 percent is at high-risk of fraud.

“The cost of advertising plays a significant role in mobile marketers’ budgets,” said CEO and Co-founder of AppLift, Tim Koschella. “The rise in fraudulent activity not only undermines the integrity of the advertising industry, but it is extremely costly for advertisers. By benefiting from the fraud detection system such as that offered through DataLift, marketers can better understand their mobile programmatic data, detect fraud prior to bidding, and therefore salvage a significant portion of their ad spend.”

Findings include:

  • Overall 34 percent of mobile traffic is at risk of fraud — Of this, 22 percent was suspect and 12 percent presented a high risk of fraud.
  • CPC campaign fraud — Traffic from campaigns run on a CPC basis is three times less likely to be fraudulent than for CPM campaigns
  • CPI campaign fraud — Traffic from campaigns run on a CPI basis is 10 times less likely to be fraudulent than for CPM campaigns
  • Fraud is highest at night — The relative amount of fraud increases during nighttime hours as many fraud tactics are not sophisticated enough to take into account actual levels of app usage.

“As the negative impact of fraud continues to affect today’s mobile programmatic world, it has never been more important to utilize available data to better understand fraud risks and develop proactive and preventative measures,” said David Sendroff, CEO and Founder of Forensiq. “By using our tools to identify instances of fraud and to interpret fraud insight at a global level, AppLift was able to detect fraudulent activity across all aspects of the programmatic mobile ecosystem.”

When fighting fraud within the programmatic ecosystem, AppLift assists customers in detecting fraudulent impressions before they are served. The advantage of a demand-side platform such as DataLift is its capacity to “listen” to programmatic bid requests without bidding, in order to detect fraudulent patterns prior to any spending.

AppLift’s study confirms that while mobile programmatic inventory is an easy target for fraud, there are multiple, efficient ways to fight it. To view the entire white paper “Fighting Mobile Fraud In The Programmatic Era,” visit

About AppLift

AppLift is a data-driven technology company that empowers mobile app advertisers to acquire and re-engage quality users at scale on a performance basis. AppLift’s programmatic media buying platform DataLift provides access to all automated supply sources in the market, reaching over a billion users. The technology leverages first- and third-party data to optimize media buys across all stages of the conversion funnel and, through its proprietary LTV optimization technology, enables ROI-maximized user acquisition. AppLift works with 500+ leading global advertisers across all verticals, such as King, Zynga, OLX, Glu Mobile, Myntra, Paltalk, Nexon, and Tap4Fun.

About Forensiq

Forensiq provides a leading fraud detection solution for the online advertising industry. Founded in 2010, the firm combines a dedicated team with the latest technology to fight online ad fraud and expose malicious bots, with the ultimate goal of creating a wholly transparent and trustworthy digital ecosystem. Forensiq also is a member of the IAB anti-fraud working group, which unites industry peers to educate the digital ad industry about the dangers of ad fraud. Forensiq is headquartered in New York City with offices in London and Silicon Valley. The company won three LeadsCouncil LEADER Awards in 2015 plus the 2014 LeadsCouncil LEADER Award for Best-In-Class Fraud Detection. To learn more, visit: