There are companies that can detect fraud and then there are companies that specialise in fraud prevention. If you are looking for comprehensive fraud protection, read on to learn how to tell the difference between a specialist and everything else.
1. The Sensationalists
These are companies that use fear to try to sell their products. There are Sensationalists in most product categories but they are particularly prolific in the security and ad fraud space. Their MO is to scare you with big numbers and names for new or emerging fraud du jour. A common method of differentiation is for a Sensationalist to trademark a fraud name or fraud indicator to create the illusion that they are the first tool to make the discovery.
Once they have trademarked tactics or indicators, Sensationalists want to show you that it is a big deal and their commitment to that tactic escalates. They will let the numbers of said tactic climb, even if there is a better way to stop it sooner because if they stop it sooner, they don’t get to use their FRAUD™ as a marketing tool.
Sensationalists focus on categorising and blocking fraud tactics, rather than blocking invalid traffic. In this sense, their known fraud tactics become decoys that distract them from the invalid traffic generated by unknown, unnamed emerging methods.
Sensationalists tend to be more susceptible to false positives as they rely heavily on signature-based detection of known fraud tactics.
2. The One Trick Ponies
One Trick Ponies only look for fraud at one point in the advertising journey – at the impression, or click, or install. The perils of this approach are threefold:
- Fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated and there are many tactics that can evade detection at the impression or click.
- You need to be able to compare the traffic at different stages for multi-point corroboration required to identify SIVT.
- With multi-point analysis, machine learning can be applied to find earlier indicators of fraud tactics that have previously remained undetected until the click or install.
One Trick Ponies are usually businesses that have a core function that is NOT fraud mitigation. Their tech was built for some other purpose which now only gives them visibility into one level.
Learn more about the importance of multi-point analysis here.
3. The Commitment-Phobes
In the fraud-tech space, the Commitment-Phobes are tools that provide reporting but don’t actually take the next step to block anything.
The reasons for this vary – sometimes it is down to the level of sophistication of their technology and the speed it can detect invalid-traffic at. Real-time detection to these companies may mean reporting on validity at 15-minute intervals, as opposed to validating a click in the milliseconds between a user clicking an ad and arriving at the app store.
For some Commitment-Phobes though, it comes down to the fact that they don’t want to commit to their verdict and identify invalid-traffic.
By using these tools, you get lumped with all the hard stuff a fraud specialist should handle – block/don’t-block decisions; interpretation of complex data; and middleware integrations to enable blocking. It’s like getting a dog and having to do the barking yourself.
4. The Specialists
Specialists aren’t sensationalising and fear-mongering. They take a scientific approach to remove invalid traffic as a whole, not just the tactics that get media attention. And importantly, they relentlessly strive to detect it faster and earlier.
They can do this because their businesses are dedicated to fraud prevention. They hire data-driven boffins that live and breathe fraud prevention. And their technology has been built from the ground up for the specific purpose of ad fraud mitigation.