As the world changed in 2020 and consumer priorities shifted to home education, healthcare, and e-commerce, fraud schemes and criminal gangs have adapted and stepped up their efforts to defraud businesses from nearly £ 25 billion lost to click fraud in 2020. In a new annual Global Click Fraud Report from PPC Protect, it uncovered the global impact of this fraudulent activity on businesses of all sizes – representing between £ 14,000 and £ 700,000 per year of loss for each business.
As people turn to online ads to save money and even increase sales as Main Street has been closed for most of the year, scammers are flushing businesses of tens and hundreds of thousands of pounds by year with false clicks.
The PPC Protect report found that online display ads were the most vulnerable to this crime with over a third of fraudulent or invalid clicks. The report also found that 11% of search clicks and 17% of clicks associated with Connected TV campaigns were fraudulent.
Due to its low risk nature, criminal gangs are attracted to click fraud and PPC Protect has found that 38% of fraudulent activity is caused by automated bots and bot fraud. Criminal gangs invest heavily in sophisticated robots to do their dirty work without having to lift a finger. Not only does this allow them to scale their business, it allows them to do so on autopilot.
PPC Protect has also discovered a significant impact of Covid on online advertising fraud. With parents and teachers grappling with home learning, the education industry has increased spending on online advertising, which has fueled an increase in fraudulent activity and payments for click fraudsters. PPC Protect found that as a result education recorded the highest rates of click fraud, with 31% of clicks being invalid.
PPC Protect also found healthcare to be hit hard as well, with click fraud increasing 53% for healthcare advertisers. The year 2020 also saw losses in the travel market reduced by 21% due to the significant contraction of the market, demonstrating that criminals are following market trends in order to make their businesses profitable in a big way.
Neil Andrew, Founder and CEO of PPC Protect, said: “Despite the impact of Covid-19, digital ad spend grew another 2.4% in 2020 to a record $ 332 billion as consumers are turning to the web in droves to stay informed, connected and entertained. For fraudsters, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
With little effort, they can defraud small independent businesses that rely on online ad spend to increase their presence by tens of thousands of pounds per year. We manage huge volumes of ad traffic to ensure these businesses are protected and with this new investment we can explore how our solution stays ahead of more sophisticated ad fraud tactics and grows internationally. .
Recognized as the industry-leading click fraud prevention solution for paid search advertisers, PPC Protect has managed over a billion ad interactions in the past 12 months. As it continues to lead the fight against click fraud, the company also recently closed its £ 2million oversubscribed funding round led by Fuel Ventures to expand into new geographies and territories.
About PPC Protect, Mark Pearson, Founder and Managing Partner of Fuel Ventures, said, “Neil and the PPC Protect team are at the forefront of the click fraud prevention space and have built the first engine. A truly automated, cybersecurity-focused fraud detection that stops bad traffic and bogus clicks. «
“This is a security-driven, not adtech-driven company and their priority is to keep businesses safe. We are delighted to support this innovative company with excellent leadership.”
The full report of PPC Protect is available at try.ppcprotect.com/