Happy New Fraud: How to Prevent Bots from Spoiling Your Holiday Campaigns?

The winter holidays are round the corner and you must be preparing your themed campaigns already. Once you are expecting to get more income due to heightened customer demand, remember that you are not alone. Ad fraudsters are expecting the same, since they always turn their steps where income is. 

Fraud losses during holidays are striking. In 2020, the total worldwide fraud losses were estimated at $35 billion, according to Statista:

Imagine that the ad budget losses caused during the holiday season can reach about 50% of the total number. 

This was bad news, but we also have good one. Even though seasoned fraud is severe, you can arm yourself with information and efficient tools to fight it. 

Which fraud types are prevalent during the holiday season?

The COVID-19 pandemics made millions of customers avoid brick and mortar shops – they switched to online markets. The situation with pandemic restrictions is still hot, so about 80% of European buyers prefer using eCommerce websites. 

This means that advertisers have a significant chance to boost revenue. However, while the shoppers become receptive to the ads online, fraudsters become active, too. 

Let’s discuss some common fraud techniques typical for holidays.

Account fraud and inventory hoarding

Popular products are fraudsters’ focus – they use advanced bots to resell them and get cash. They target popular products like consoles, latest smartphone models, etc. Then these goods are resold for profit. This trick is done through account fraud. Criminals either steal the existing one to stay unnoticed or create new ones. 

Usually, account bots are pretty “clever” and act almost like people: they easily pass all security measures (captcha or WAF) and get access to goods before real customers. And this is how advertisers get invalid traffic without an opportunity to satisfy buyers’ demand and earn money.

An average eCommerce advertiser has to deal with sophisticated bots around the year, but during the holiday season, their amount can grow from 10-15% to 30%.

Bidding fraud 

This one is an affiliate ad fraud type, which is easy to overlook. During the holiday season, advertisers rarely keep tracking their traffic – they don’t really have time for that. And this becomes a perfect ground for fraudsters to act. 

While the excessive bidding around platforms increases the prices, cheaters find these conditions perfect to steal your customer base or mix bots into the traffic you buy. So, cheaters and affiliates make advertisers pay for nothing and this is something you would prefer to avoid. 

Bidding fraud is one of the simplest ones, so you can expect a significant holiday increase of 15% and even 40%.

Fraudulent redirects and click spamming

The classical and extremely widespread fraud schemes become even more harmful at the end of the year. They become more intense and massive. Such snowball bot attacks end up with wasted budgets – you pay for fake users instead of the real ones, so your budget suffers.

Being extremely widespread, click spamming and fraudulent redirects are associated with numerous clicks and few conversions. Also, using various tricks like VPN or Proxy, criminals can raise the conversion cost, but your ads don’t bring any results.

As other pretty simple fraud types, click spamming and fraudulent redirects can reach incredible volumes during the holiday season – about 50% of your traffic is at risk. 

Holiday fraud is pervasive and it is really hard to avoid it during such a fruitful season as the last months of the year. But no worries – ADEX is here to give you valuable advice and arm you with efficient anti-bot tools.

What should you do to keep your campaigns safe?

As you understand, it is important to prevent fraud instead of trying to deal with its consequences. We share some strategies to keep bots away from your seasonal campaigns:

  • Experiment with new traffic sources only if you have anti-fraud tools

Buying traffic from third parties is always risky, while buying it during such a hot season can be disastrous. If you want to cooperate with traffic providers you are not familiar with, make sure to identify and check all of them carefully, plus – use ADEX to identify fraud timely.

  • Cheap traffic sources need additional check

When relying on cheap traffic sources, be ready that some bots can be mixed in. It’s not like low cost traffic is always that bad, but your holiday campaigns are too important to risk, so use ADEX tools to perform a double-check.  

  • Rely on ADEX to prevent fraud

As you know, ADEX specializes in real-time traffic analysis, so you can rely on our platform to detect even the most sophisticated types of bots. 

For example, our API feature can help you with precise real-time analysis. And in case you identify fraud, use the Redirect feature to get rid of it. And if it is too late to identify and prevent fraud, don’t forget about Claim Reports. We can help you create custom reports packed with analytics and stats to demand a refund from a traffic provider.  

Christmas anti-fraud checklist

Indeed, the holiday season is not only about gifts and cozy family dinners. For advertisers, it is also about fraud that increases during these months dramatically. To make sure that nothing can spoil your brightest days of the year, stay with ADEX and ensure flawless protection of your campaigns! Happy holidays! 

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