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New report indicates $700-$800m. lost to fraud in Q1 2018, travel apps hardest hit

Global mobile attribution and marketing analytics leader AppsFlyer issued its State of Mobile App Install Fraud Q1 2018 report, which examines more than 6,000 apps and 10 billion installs across multiple verticals, regions and platforms.

The report, covering over 10 billion installs of 6,000 apps, found that mobile app marketers were exposed to 30% more fraud during the first quarter of 2018 (as compared to the 2017 quarterly average). When factoring media cost and 3rd party attribution market share estimates, financial exposure to fraud in Q1 hit $700-$800 million worldwide. Overall, the data shows an 11.5% fraud rate, a 15% increase compared to the last study.

Fraud has become a high stakes arms race. When one form of attack is blocked, fraudsters find another way in and they do it at increasingly alarming speed. As a result, fraud comes in waves, as the following chart clearly illustrates:

Key findings of the report include:

  • Mobile app marketers were exposed to 30% more fraud in Q1 2018, reaching $700-$800 million worldwide.
  • The share of fraudulent installs has grown by 15%, tainting 11.5% of all marketing-driven installs.
  • Bots have replaced device farms as the most popular form of attack, responsible for over 30% of fraudulent installs.
  • Shopping, gaming, finance and travel apps are the hardest hit.

AppsFlyer Fraud Data Study – Verticals and Geo_April 2018

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