What is Bot Fraud?

Fraud is an issue in our modern society that we just cannot escape.  Many people know of identity theft, online scams, and other measures of deception online, but what is bot fraud?  Can robots really be fraudulent?

Yes, robots can be created to steal identities online and pose many other threats to those who use the internet regularly.  Our modern society relies heavily on technological advancements, computers, and the internet.  Our reliance on tech allows fraud in the digital advertising arena to flourish.  Bots can be utilized to raise numbers in website controls, raise interest levels in advertising, and used to create fraudulent comments on web trafficking sites.

Bot fraud is also referred to as ad fraud.  It is an online program that creates and serves ads that will not be able to be viewed by a human.  Researchers have found websites that carried only a bot audience.  When looking into nearly three million websites, researchers found one thousand websites to be fraudulent.  Bot fraud reaches legitimate websites created by legitimate organizations but inflate the audience of the website by between five and fifty percent.

Bot fraud can bring in between $250,000 to $42 million depending upon the organization and the amount of bots being utilized in the fraud scheme.  The average profit is $10 million per user.  The highest amount of bot fraud is called ‘sourcing traffic’.  Sourcing traffic has three times the percentage of bot traffic.  In 2015, researchers found that advertising personnel utilize bots for between 3% and 37% of their online traffic, when in 2014 the range was between 2% and 22%.  The instances of bot fraud are increasing rapidly as technology advances. The best method of avoiding this type of fraud is to be aware, alert, and involved.

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