How do you combat user acquisition scams that are increasingly slick and nearly undetectable? Find out from the front line how pros are successfully combating mobile fraud.

Like ants to a picnic, the extraordinary success of the mobile app market has attracted con artists looking for the easiest way to snag a piece of the pie. As the mobile app market continues to grow, their nefarious schemes — including bots, invisible ads, stacked banners, “tricky” links, and install farms — are getting more sophisticated.

Eric Seufert, VP of user acquisition at Rovio Entertainment, the creator of Angry Birds, says their company is primarily plagued by the mixing of incentivized traffic into what’s supposed to be purely non-incentivized traffic, and traffic re-brokering, where a network will simply buy traffic from another network for one of their own customer’s campaigns.

“The problem,” Seufert says, “is how do you avoid it completely when it’s so pervasive?”

The answer? You don’t.

“It’s almost the cost of doing business now,” says Seufert. “You accept that there’s going to be some level of this type of fraud in a lot of ad campaigns you run, especially with affiliate networks.” The stop-gap solution is adjusting bids down to meet new estimated profit margins.

Trying to actually combat fraud in-house, as some companies have been doing for the last year or two, means you could end up exceeding what you’re paying, he says — unless you’re a big company, spending so much money that that margin represents a huge amount of absolute revenue.

The biggest issue developers face, Seufert says, is the opportunity cost of taking a step down. You could spend time trying to identify or confirm fraud, and then petition the network for your money back. Or you could go and make a ten percent margin on new traffic. “It’s a matter of how you focus your time in the most beneficial way for the company,” he says.

That said, he adds, there are tools coming to market designed to detect fraud in a cost-efficient way, with respect to what you’re paying versus what you’re getting back. Adjust, for instance, just announced its fraud prevention suite, and Seufert predicts that the fraud prevention market will continue to grow rapidly over the next year.

In the end, Seufert believes that the sky is firmly in place. “I think the problem will be tackled simply by the size of the market,” he declares. The fraudulent percentages are becoming real money for the biggest companies, and like most pain points, it’ll spur real solutions in the near future.

To find out more about identifying fraud, eliminating it, and getting your money back, join our free webinar, “Mobile user acquisition fraud: How to find it and how to fight it.”

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • What user acquisition fraud is, and its many forms
  • How to identify campaigns and publishers associated with illegitimate traffic
  • How datasets can be cleaned and payouts reclaimed once fraud is identified


  • Eric Seufert, VP of User Acquisition, Rovio
  • Yevgeny Peres, VP of Growth, Supersonic by ironSource
  • Paul H. Müller, CTO at adjust


  • Evan Schuman, Moderator, VentureBeat

    This webinar is sponsored by adjust.