Ad fraud is a term used to describe the practice of generating fraudulent ad impressions, clicks, or conversions to make money. It's a form of online advertising fraud that both individual parties and organizations can commit.
In many cases, it's difficult to detect ad fraud because it looks exactly like real traffic. Advertisers often have no way of knowing whether the supposed users who clicked on their ads are real people or bots created by malicious actors using botnets or click farms. This makes it easy for criminals to generate large amounts of fake activity without being caught.
Ad fraud is also known as invalid traffic (IVT), an online advertising fraud involving automated non-human traffic to artificially inflate ad viewability or ad click-through rates. The two types of IVT include:
General Invalid Traffic (GIVT): This form of invalid traffic (IVT) affects the entire web ecosystem. It's generated by bots, or automated software programs, that generate fake impressions, clicks, and conversions.
This is the most common type of fraud and accounts for up to 80% of all ad fraud. GIVT can be identified through regular filtration activities such as standard checks and lists.