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October 2019 / Page 0marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Augustine Fou, PhD.
acfou [at] mktsci.com
October 2019 / Page 1marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Who am I?
• I am a digital marketer of 23+ years
• I study digital ad fraud
• I help clients audit campaigns for
fraud that gets by verification tech
• I show clients the data, teach them
how to find/reduce fraud themselves
October 2019 / Page 2marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Fakes or unauthorized replicas of the real product
ad impressions shown to
bots/software not to humans
October 2019 / Page 3marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Hacking, malware, ransomware, drive-by cryptomining
October 2019 / Page 4marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Deceptive practice of inducing investors with false information
• Revenues derived from
• Inflating revenue,
profits through ad fraud
• Overstating subscribers,
active users, ARPU
• Selling counterfeit
services and products
• Misrepresenting the
capabilities of services,
October 2019 / Page 5marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Keystroke logging to harvest logins, passwords, personal info
Source: Freedom to Tinker, Nov 2017
October 2019 / Page 6marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Alteration or suppression of computer data
Buzzfeed, March 2018
“Laguna Niguel man pleads
guilty in 'cookie stuffing' scam
against Ebay. The online
auctioneer paid Dunning’s
company about $5.2 million in
2006 and 2007, the U.S. Attorney
October 2019 / Page 7marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Forgery, falsified profiles
Unverifiable lookalike audiences contain fake profiles/preferences
Bots pretend to be
oncologists by visiting
oncology related sites.
“[LOTAME] purged 400 million
of its over 4 billion profiles after
identifying them as bots.”
Adweek, Feb 2018
October 2019 / Page 8marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Fake accounts pretending to be politicians, celebrities
October 2019 / Page 9marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Large numbers of cloned sites containing 100% pirated content
sites use pirated
content to attract
- Show ads
- Attempt to hack
them or track them
October 2019 / Page 10marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Illegal Access / Breaches
Harvesting personal info, ecommerce transactions, other data
October 2019 / Page 11marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Aggravated identity theft
Stolen personal info can be sold, and also later used in hacking
Data Prices on the Dark Web
October 2019 / Page 12marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Knowingly misrepresenting the capabilities of the … technology
“Allegedly engaged in a multi-million dollar
scheme to defraud investors, as well as a
doctors and patients. charged with two counts
of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine
counts of wire fraud.
Holmes and Balwani were accused of knowingly
misrepresenting the capabilities of Theranos'
proprietary blood testing technology. The two
allegedly knew there were "accuracy and
reliability problems," and that it "could not
compete with existing, more conventional
machines," the US Attorney's office said.”
October 2019 / Page 13marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Dollars are laundered as digital media ad spend on “cash out” sites
1. Buy and place digital ads on sites and apps
controlled by the same entity
2. Collect dollars from “cash out” sites, fully
October 2019 / Page 14marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Online child abuse images
“Using a variety of sophisticated techniques to avoid detection,
offenders are exploiting online advertising networks to
monetise their distribution of child sexual abuse material.”
Source: The Drum Nov 6, 2018 Source: CNN, Feb 2019 Source: NYT, Sep 2019
October 2019 / Page 15marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
About the Author
Augustine Fou, PhD.
acfou [@] mktsci.com
October 2019 / Page 16marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc.
Dr. Augustine Fou – Researcher
Published slide decks and posts: