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How Internet Bots Make Robocalls and Ruin Campaigns

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    Written by Richard Kahn
    on July 26, 2019

    Predatory internet bots come in a variety of formats, and the ones that conduct ad fraud are responsible for costing the industry $42 billion is lost revenue this year alone.

    Whether using spam bots, spy bots, or zombie computers, these enticing financial incentives have motivated fraudsters to develop increasingly sophisticated schemes and tools. These innovations have led to more fraudulent traffic and more wasted spend on behalf of brands and performance marketers.

    One of these tools is robocalling. Internet bots, as well as Human Fraud Farms, are able to crawl sites, bots fill out forms, and can accumulate phone numbers to position themselves as real leads or customers. Uncovering their tracks is increasingly difficult, making businesses more susceptible to costly ad fraud scams.

    By identifying the user as real or bogus, instead of focusing on vanity metrics, marketers can curb the effect of robocalling bots and gain more return from their campaign investments.

    Where Is Ad Fraud Coming From? Read the report to find out more.

    Internet Bots and Ad Fraud

    Fraudsters have realized that many of their tactics generate suspicion. Creating a lot of impressions without clicks (impression fraud), or a lot of clicks without backend conversions, raises red flags.

    Those suspicious sources of engagement, like traffic coming from regions that weren’t targeted or from questionable IP addresses, need to be blocked before they do damage. 

    Malicious bots exploit legitimate engagement channels used by businesses and brands’ channels, particularly calls to action (CTAs) which encourage a prospective client or customer to take a next step, like registering for a demo, reading a piece of content, or calling a phone number to talk to a representative or sales person. 

    Related Post: Bad Bots: How Ad Fraud Affects Your Retargeting

    Bad actors create bad bots that scrape websites for contact information and phone numbers, and deliver this information to other automated bots and autodialers that execute commands to pilfer ad spending through click fraud and fake impressions. Recent innovations, however, have also weaponized human fraud farms and automated avatars that speak English on the phone at a native level. 

    While many marketers and brands attempt to protect these channels, fraudsters mimic actual human behavior by employing sophisticated avatars or real human beings in fraud farms to make real phone calls after engaging with content and links on social media sites like Facebook. 

    By inserting ad fraud campaigns with real, human-like interactions, bad actors can circumvent many of the barriers and protections businesses currently employ to protect their data and dollars.

    After these brief conversations, few even realize they were involved in an ad fraud scam. Fraudsters and internet bots simply move on to their next victims and repeat the process over and over again. By the time businesses identify patterns in phone calls that exhibit the same unusual characteristics, they have already wasted money on bogus ad spend. 

    Related Post: How Bots Bypass Privacy Rules

    Preventing Ad Fraud from Robocalling Bots

    Threats that come from every direction and various sources, from automated internet bots to huge teams of people, continue to waste money and time for brands and marketers. There are, however, some innovative companies that have spent years studying the problem, and programming millions of lines of code to stop the source of ad fraud where it begins: the user. 

    Anura is an ad fraud detection solution focused on the user rather than the channel or means through which bad actors enter the campaign environment. By leveraging hundreds of data points, Anura can accurately differentiate between real and fraudulent traffic.

    With our unique identification technology, marketers are able to make better business decisions based off the behavior of real clients and customers, reduce wasted ad spend and maximizing resources to improve profitability.

    To learn more about how Anura can accurately identify fraudulent traffic activity to prevent ad fraud and internet bots using robocalls, contact us for a free trial.

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