How to Avoid Mobile App Install Fraud

Post By Janet Arvia

“Follow the money” is a method used to uncover shady behavior. Made popular in the Watergate film ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN of 1976, the term is in the news again regarding today’s political corruption investigations. Yet it also can be applied to detecting mobile advertising fraud. That’s because as marketing budgets move to mobile, so do fraudsters following the money. As a result, brands with mobile apps can be duped into paying for fake installs.

Discovering the Problem

When it comes to install metrics, the red flag to watch for is the time between a user click and the install event. If the TTI (time to install) is not close to the click event, or in keeping with typical user behavior, fraudulent traffic sources may be afoot.

Solving the Problem

To stop fraudulent traffic from being attributed to your paid channels, you can chase after each and every install event and analyze it for abnormalities in real-time. However this approach costs time and money, and isn’t totally foolproof since both marketers and networks may be unable to properly pinpoint appropriate attribution windows because the numbers vary from app to app.

Avoiding the Problem

Instead of spending resources on a problematic fix, it’s more practical to bypass fraudulent traffic entirely by employing preventative tactics. Our partnership with Pepperjam helps advertisers easily connect their affiliate program with the mobile app customer acquisition marketing plans.

A good rule to follow is to compensate media partners only on performance and engagement of the new users they drive. Simply put, when you pay out a commission revenue share based on how much a user spends in your app (opposed to paying a media partner to drive an install), you follow the money of your customers—not fraudsters.

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