Ad Fraud on the rise: Gen AI makes schemes more sophisticated

The report highlights a significant increase in new ad fraud schemes, with fraudsters exploiting advancements in Generative AI (Gen AI) to target emerging platforms like Connected TV (CTV) and streaming audio.

DV 2024 Global Insights Report
DV 2024 Global Insights Report

DoubleVerify (DV) yesterday released a preview of its 2024 Global Insights Report. The report highlights a significant increase in new ad fraud schemes, with fraudsters exploiting advancements in Generative AI (Gen AI) to target emerging platforms like Connected TV (CTV) and streaming audio.

According to DV's Fraud Lab, 2023 saw a substantial year-over-year increase of over 20% in new ad fraud schemes and variants. Unprotected advertisers faced a potential fraud and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT) violation rate as high as 17%. SIVT encompasses various fraudulent activities such as bot fraud, site fraud, app fraud, hijacked devices, and manipulated traffic data, all aimed at inflating ad impressions or data events for illegitimate revenue gains.

DV identified Gen AI as a key driver behind the rise in new ad fraud schemes. Gen AI allows fraudsters to create more realistic data patterns, making it harder to detect fraudulent activity.

Bot Fraud Targeting Streaming Platforms: The report highlights bot fraud as a prevalent scheme, particularly within CTV and streaming audio environments. Fraudsters leverage Gen AI to generate seemingly authentic user agents, mimicking human interaction with content and inflating ad impressions.

Evolving Fraudulent Tactics: The study reveals that fraudsters are not only creating new schemes but also rapidly evolving existing ones. In 2023, bot fraud schemes targeting streaming platforms saw a 269% increase in variants, contributing to a 58% overall rise in streaming fraud schemes.

Mobile App Fraud and AI-Generated Deception: The research indicates a doubling of mobile app fraud investigations by DV in 2023. This rise is attributed to the ease with which Gen AI can be used to create fake websites and apps with deceptive tactics like mass-generated positive reviews. These tactics create the illusion of legitimate audiences within mobile apps.

Fighting Fire with Fire: AI as a Countermeasure

While Gen AI presents challenges, DV emphasizes the potential of using AI to combat ad fraud. DV's platform utilizes AI to analyze vast amounts of data and assess impression quality in real-time. Machine learning algorithms identify patterns and trends that might evade human analysts, ultimately helping to expose fraudulent activity.

"Fortunately," said Roy Rosenfeld, Head of DV Fraud Lab, "good AI can be used to fight bad AI." He highlights the importance of leveraging AI to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated fraudsters.

The report leverages DV's technology to analyze over one trillion impressions from over 2,000 brands across various regions. It provides a global market breakdown and covers video and display impressions across desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and CTV for the period January to December 2023. The study also incorporates a global advertiser survey conducted by Sapio.


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