“The criminals trick genuine internet users into viewing their websites. They do this using a technological sleight of hand, causing their websites to remain invisible, yet appear as if they’ve been fully loaded in the visitors’ browsers. The scam websites then run code, generating fake clicks on the ads, making it seem like the clicks came from the hoodwinked visitors.”
Cybersecurity company Polygraph is warning advertisers to beware of click fraud coming from genuine website visitors.
The click fraud detection specialist aknowledges that most click fraud uses bots – software pretending to be human – to produce the fake clicks. However, a small number of corrupt publishers are using genuine internet visitors to inadvertently participate in the crime, the firm said.
According to Polygrah, click fraud steals billions of dollars from advertisers every year as criminals create scam websites, and monetize the content by placing genuine adverts on every page. They then generate massive earnings – and huge losses for advertisers – by repeatedly clicking on the ads.
Criminals trick genuine internet users into viewing their websites
Trey Vanes, Head of Marketing at Polygraph, said: “We’re currently monitoring a number of shady companies and click fraud gangs who are using real human visitors to generate fake clicks on ads. The way they do this is clever, as it happens seamlessly without the visitors realizing they’re participating in click fraud,” said Vanes.
“The criminals trick genuine internet users into viewing their websites. They do this using a technological sleight of hand, causing their websites to remain invisible, yet appear as if they’ve been fully loaded in the visitors’ browsers. The scam websites then run code, generating fake clicks on the ads, making it seem like the clicks came from the hoodwinked visitors.
“What’s particularly clever about this – apart from the trickery and technological prowess – is the clicks appear to come from real people. That means any bot detection software being run by the ad networks and advertisers won’t detect the fake clicks. Polygraph are experts at detecting click fraud, so we’re able to detect these fake clicks, as well as every other type of click fraud,” said Vanes.
“Since the fraud happens on publisher websites, if you limit your ads to appear on Google’s or Microsoft’s search results, you’ll eliminate this type of click fraud. However, a smarter solution is to use Polygraph to monitor your ad clicks for fraud, so you can be aware of every fake click, get refunds from the ad networks, and block the scam websites from displaying your ads.”
Polygraph’s Vanes advises advertisers to restrict their adverts to search results, or use a click fraud detection service to detect and eliminate fake clicks.
The Belin-based firm was founded in 2021 to monitor the activities of click fraud gangs, including how they operate, who they target, the techniques they use, and how to detect their fraud.