A new report by StockApps has found that iPhone recorded more ad-related fraud than Android in Q2.
The report states that “Mobile Ad Fraud passes as one of the best-organized crimes of recent times.” In Q2 2022, iPhone recorded 15.4 percent of ad-related frauds, compared to 12.3 percent for Android devices.
“This is not very surprising. iPhones are generally more expensive than Androids. They, therefore, tend to attract more criminals who want to make a quick buck,” said StockApps specialist Edith Reads.
“Ad fraudsters use sophisticated methods to dupe advertisers. They create fake traffic using bots and click farms. They also use hijacked devices to generate false impressions. These techniques are more prevalent on iOS devices because they are more valuable.”
High value customers mean high value targets
The tactics of fraud vary slightly between app stores. One of the most popular frauds on Android, for example, is click injection, which isn’t available on iPhone devices.
Fraudsters use click spamming to send out false reports in the hopes that one will be accepted overwhelming any anti-fraud measures.
The report cites iOS’s higher customer lifetime value (LTV) as a reason that iOS devices are a prime target for this form of fraud, as iPhone users tend to spend more money on apps. As such, scammers focusing on iOS devices find them more valuable to exploit, despite the fact that iOS devices are less susceptible to hacking.
the report also concedes that iOS devices can’t install unverified Apple software unless jailbroken, and that apps need to pass rigorous testing before being made available to users. As such, while this form of fraud is more common on iOS due to the higher potential gain for scammers, the risk of a rogue app on the App Store being used for fraud remains slim.
However, it should be noted that the Digital Markets Act (DMA) recently came into force. Among other things, this would require companies to allow users to install third-party apps on their devices, and this could result in higher numbers of ad fraud.