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Advertisers, Beware Of These 5 Kinds Of Online Ad Frauds!

Online advertising has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry that has reached small enterprises and large organizations all over the world. As a result, it is a hot market, with an infinite number of people and organizations vying for a spot among the competitors. 

Unfortunately, the general competition of this sector has resulted in a lot of so-called “professional digital marketers” that engage in fraudulent activities in an attempt to benefit from firms that fall into the trap of employing them.

The use of phony traffic to perform advertising fraud is the most common type of online marketing fraud. This defrauds advertisers by taking advantage of the digital marketing platforms that they pay for customized ad distribution.

Advertisers frequently use “pay per impression” or “pay per click” campaigns, assuming that the individual viewing the ad is part of the demographic they want to attract. Instead, the research indicates that an increasing number of these ostensibly prospective consumers are rather clever bots meant to milk marketing expenditures.

 Other new types that are becoming far larger criminal businesses, such as lead generation fraud and incentive program misuse, are also on the rise.

Here we have listed the 5 most common Online Frauds that Advertisers should be aware of – 

#1.  Ad Injection

Image Source: Blog pros

Injecting clicks entails creating clicks when none exist. Ads may be injected in the same way.

Ad injection allows fraudsters to place adverts where they do not belong by using browser extensions and adware plugins.

They can take over a server and insert an ad of their choice into a spot that was previously occupied by another advertisement. 

#2. Ghost Sites

Image Source: LinkedIn

False websites are created by fraudsters to serve as hosts on programmatic ad networks and exchanges. When advertising is put on ghost sites, fraudulent bots execute click fraud and produce phony impressions, for which the fraudsters are compensated depending on the cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CMI).

#3. Cookie Stuffing

Image Source: Header Bidding

Advertisers using affiliate marketing programs frequently employ cookies (small text files stored in a web browser) to monitor which affiliates referred a certain website visitor. Cookie stuffing is a form of fraud in which the scammer places many affiliate tracking cookies in the browser of a website visitor with the hopes that they would visit a website with an affiliate program later on.

Since their browser has an affiliate tracking cookie, the dealer’s affiliate marketing network credits the visit to the cookie stuffer—even if the scammer never advertised the website.

As the scammer is robbing credit for leads and sales from genuine affiliates, this false attribution can devour ad expenditure and harm businesses.

#4. Domain Spoofing

Image Source: SpotX

As the name suggests, it impersonates a real domain or website to sell ad space to marketers. It capitalizes on consumer-browser trust.

Publishers often sell ad space to advertisers in exchange for a part of their earnings, and the advertisers benefit from increased visibility. This is accomplished through the use of a bidding system. Customers are more inclined to purchase items offered on premium websites than on those with improper material. Websites that appear to be high-end, on the other hand, maybe fake.

#5. Pixel Stuffing

Image Source: Propeller Ads

Consider how many advertisements you could show if they were presented in a 1×1 pixel space. Pixel stuffing is exactly what it sounds like.

When fraudsters apply pixel stuffing, they show a bigger ad in a small enough place that it is undetected. Even if visitors do not see it, the scammers are credited with the impression. Worse, this approach may be repeated repeatedly on a single page.


One of the most effective ways for a company to defend itself from the expenses of ad fraud is to discover it early and put a stop to it as soon as possible.

The more you are aware of the numerous digital marketing scams that exist in today’s business environment, the less likely you are to fall victim to them. You will be able to protect your business from loss if you verify the online advertising services you are planning to employ and consult with other sources about it.

Author avatar
Arundhati Sensharma