VAS fraud ‑ and how to address it ‑ is one of the main themes of World Telemedia 2019; but who are the victims?
The value added services (VAS) services advertiser and the consumer become financial victims, while the mobile operator has to pick up the cost of the complaints.
The advertiser even through the so called “safe” areas of display CPC advertising through Google, Facebook and YouTube – is paying for clicks to their landing pages. More than 90% of the clicks to a Carrier Billing payment page never result in the payment button being clicked because many of the page visits are from bots to generate fraudulent CPC revenue. The advertiser is the first victim of the fraud.
Not all clicks on the Subscribe button are from real people. In some markets Empello has seen fraudulent click rates as high as 95%, and an average of 75%. These clicks are coming from apps with auto-subscription malware embedded. The consumer is the second victim of the fraud.
The handling of a consumer query about charges to their mobile account through the mobile operator costs approx €30 per incidence. Thus the mobile operators have also become the fourth victim of fraud.
Many operators and/or regulators have mandated OTP flows on the mistaken belief that they will deal with fraud, and reduce customer complaints. However the latest malware apps can take the PIN sent by SMS and insert it into the PIN confirmation page. OTP does not stop fraud, but it does substantially reduce revenues for all in the value chain. The whole VAS ecosystem is therefore the fifth victim of fraud.
Where Mobile Operators and Aggregators have invested in an anti fraud solution to protect the Operator’s customers from unauthorised charging, Content Providers will see reduced conversions for the clicks that they are paying for and realise quickly that they have been a victim of click-fraud for a very long time. But where was the fraud coming from and how do they stop paying for it?
A key new feature in Empello’s FraudStop is the “Traffic Source” analysis. A Content Provider can add its own identification code to its traffic sources and advertising campaigns while keeping the underlying information completely confidential. With access to the FraudStop portal they can then see in real-time what traffic sources are being blocked by the Empello Fraud analysis and then refuse to pay for this fraudulent traffic.
The FraudStop solution will also identify the App that is being used (if it is the case) under remote command to generate clicks and payments, allowing App stores and Mobile Operators to manage the situation and protect their unwitting customers.
Empello’s FraudStop solution and the benefit it provides to advertisers will be discussed and demonstrated at World Telemedia Marbella, 14-16 October.
Check out the full presentation here