The digital marketing landscape is in a bit of an upheaval. Fraudsters have gotten wise and jumped to the one place where they know their reliable schemes have a chance: mobile. These bad actors have shifted from desktop, and the tactics that once worked there seem to have free reign when it comes to mobile devices.

What’s worse, new fraud tactics have continuously outsmarted once-reliable tracking methods. As technology gets increasingly better, sophisticated mobile ad fraud tactics continue to evolve as well. And there’s reason for panic across the mobile ecosystem—mobile fraud is much more difficult to catch.     

But there are solutions in the mobile marketing supply chain. Loopholes remain, but proactive mobile growth platforms have established best practices on helping advertisers combat fraud and to smartly navigate the complex mobile marketing landscape.

Here are three key steps advertisers can take to combat mobile ad fraud.

1. Maintain full data transparency

Data transparency has proven quite elusive. Such steps aren’t anything new—the online advertising sector has been promising a comprehensive level of data transparency. But the fact is that most media buyers don’t push for transparency simply to maintain a competitive advantage on source and quality. That doesn’t take into consideration a couple of factors.

Wise mobile growth platforms shouldn’t believe this is any sort of value proposition. Stay shrewd, and be completely transparent with media sources. Complete viewability from the source, through to the end-user activity inside each app post-installation, allows for platforms to build user profiles and models that can be used to scale traffic and monetize for efficiency.

Match that with industry standard optimization algorithms and deep learning, and there’s an obvious scalable process that favors data transparency. It’s perhaps the most important collective step to take.

2. Ensure mutual brand safety

Open and direct communication with clients seems like a pretty typical standard from any business standpoint. You fundamentally want to provide a beneficial service for clients, but it can’t be taken for granted. It also has to be high up on the list for mobile marketers to build the kind of long-term partnerships the industry needs. This point goes beyond simple company cooperation and achieving an objective.

Recognizing the need for automated brand-safety solutions, we engineered a proprietary mobile growth platform that can have customizable applications on a per-client basis to ensure each and every need is met. This ensures there is fundamental brand safety, but also safeguards for specific post-engagement requirements and other KPIs—which we’ll get to in a moment.

The extent of a mutually beneficial business relationship allows companies to share knowledge within the industry and inspire others, as well as receive feedback to take necessary steps to improve a company’s internal systems. That also extends to enabling a company to safely empower a client’s forward-thinking global user acquisition strategy.

3. Guarantee internal alignment

With brand safety, a company defines its ethos and core values with a strict focus on driving value to clients. By extension, that also means being fastidious with its technology and processes—in a mobile marketer’s case it boils down to fraud prevention. As such, a company must heavily invest in resources that drive that singular, but immensely important goal.

For instance, we have a combination of real-time and post-installation algorithms that run to detect fraud, but we had to make sure we could actually back up what we said we could accomplish. This experience allowed us to brainstorm and implement a fraud analysis suite that met our demands and vice versa.

But, as we also take into consideration brand safety, we also have to accept a client’s input for business-specific KPIs as well. Aligning similar practices would allow a platform to deliver tailor-made fraud analysis to each client while also supporting a greater industry standard functionality.


The mobile marketing landscape will be hampered by fraud unless the industry can identify and collectively publish countermeasures to influence and drive the marketplace forward. By taking proactive steps and bringing these kinds of insights to the forefront, we shine a wide spotlight against rampant, anonymous practices.   

Such a sweeping solution to a complex problem might seem a bit much, but offering up such tried-and-true strategies play a vital role in a much-needed industry-wide push to thwart mobile ad fraud. In the future, mobile ad fraud will only continue to get more refined. Yet complete transparency, utmost brand safety, and the implementation of new preventative technology are among the most pressing actionable next steps. Only by taking those necessary steps, and offering a comprehensive plan of attack, can the industry continue to grow and succeed.

Marc Porcelli is CEO and Founder at Curate Mobile.

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