CORE ASPECTS OF FRAUD DETECTION
Fraud In The Gaming Industry And How To Prevent It
In recent trends, the gaming community has attracted a lot of cyber criminals. Fraud has spread everywhere. From retail stores to the digital marketplace, anywhere you go, you can easily be a victim of fraud.
According to the Association of National Advertisers and White Ops, advertising fraud has cost digital advertisers over $7.2 billion in 2016. Keeping this staggering and important number in mind, currently, the impact of fraud on a user acquisition has been dealt with high-importance as we started to discuss it more openly.
According to reports from VentureBeat in 2015, the number of games publishers and developers who became the victims of fraud had increased by almost two-thirds. In 2016, VentureBeat once again reported that the games publishers and developers lost at least a $100m as a direct result of fraud.
Let’s read about different fraud attempts to educate ourselves through these incidents:
- Mixed traffic instead of non-incentivized
This is a common example when the target user is playing a match-3 style game and sees a pop-up that offers him “Watch a video ad, get three bonus lives” with a sign-up form on the end.
This type of traffic is 10 times cheaper than non-incentivized which makes this type of fraud extremely profitable for some fraudulent networks. A lot of publishers and developers think they are buying non-incentivized traffic while it is the exact opposite.
- Incentivized traffic
The easiest way to detect incentivized traffic is to monitor the player’s early metrics which happens just after installation and no more than two days. It can also detect the metrics with high probability, metrics based on the consistency of what 80% to 90% of organic users do.
- Incentivized events
To detect an incentivized event you can monitor the deeper metrics that occur less often and as mentioned previously it takes two days or less to detect incentivized traffic.
- Imitation of high percentage of paying players
This is the hardest variation of incentivized traffic to detect. Usually, the publisher can see expected metrics for their user’s activity. It includes monitoring if they are good or above average conversion to the paying players.
- Geo cheating
Thought last yet the more common type of fraud is the selling of cheap traffic disguised as a better traffic for an expensive price.
iQU as a marketing agency has taken a special interest to proactively battle fraudulent or low player engagement traffic in the early lifetime of a campaign. It’s an invite-only network, which permits only known and trusted traffic sources for working on the campaigns. We have been also utilizing other advanced tools and methods to fight against fraud. Hence, we have less than 4% “traditional” fraud, and we spend a lot of time on analyzing and preventing any suspicious actions that can be related to different kinds of fraud.
Usually, we advise our clients to monitor the behavior of players in the game to prevent fraud. Tracking in during the game activity and using this data for fraud prevention gives them an opportunity to fight against fraud.
By using Post Conversion Tracking (PCT) implementation and analyzing KPIs that are relevant for a given game, you can detect a fraudulent player easily, especially for the desktop games. This tool allows iQU to optimize the traffic real time and weed out sources that are performing below our standards. Thus effectively increasing the quality of the traffic and making sure advertiser’s budget is spent as efficiently as possible while increasing the ROI of a campaign.
The implementation of the Post Conversion Tracking option is very easy and simple. After the consultation with the advertiser, iQU positions multiple tracking events on different stages of his/her game. Those events are placed after the agreed conversion point of the players using the sign-up, download, launch etc. iQU’s PCT platform tracks these events and ensures that traffic partners meet the pre-defined campaign goals. Reaching these goals can be rewarded with additional payouts for the publishers.
In fact, one of our best weapons is reviewing the PCT internal reports. iQU’s dedicated team spend their most of the time with our account management and publisher management teams to constantly discuss and reviewing the PCT internal reports and fraud claims sent to us by our advertisers. That way we stay ahead in the game in front of the “fraudsters” and we save some precious time of our advertisers.
Fraud is a problem that is too deeply rooted to be plucked out or eradicate. Whether it’s in the form of return fraud or chargebacks, the outcome is the same. The best thing for the game developers is to stay safe and use as much help as possible to stay ahead in the fraud game.