Staff Reporters
Feb 3, 2023

Audio advertisers beware: New ad fraud uncovered in CTV inventory

Audio streaming penetration in Southeast Asia reached 82.1% in H1 2022 and is only expected to grow, according to Emarketer.

Audio advertisers beware: New ad fraud uncovered in CTV inventory

A new ad fraud in audio inventory has been uncovered that has cost advertisers up to $1 million per month.

In 2019, a new fraud scheme known as BeatSting was first detected by Double Verify, becoming part of the growing family of server-side ad insertion (SSAI) scams.

This particular scam focuses on connected TV (CTV) inventory, where fraudsters start by pretending to be residential IP addresses and audio apps. They then establish fake SSAI servers to deceive audio ad requests, making the inventory seem desirable to advertisers.

Suppose an advertiser falls for this scam and places a winning bid. In that case, their ad money is wasted on a fraudulent opportunity, with the fraudsters profiting at the expense of legitimate audio channels. These scammers are not only stealing from advertisers but also undermining the integrity of the audio advertising industry.

The DV Fraud Lab has reported a significant surge in fraudulent activity targeting audio channels in the early months of 2022. Previously, they had seen only minor instances of this type of attack, but this is the first time that the fraudsters have managed to generate fake audio traffic on a large scale through big audio platforms.

“Fraud always follows the money, and increasingly that money is flowing to digital audio, a rapidly emerging channel where digital advertising standards are still evolving,” said Mark Zagorski, chief executive officer at DoubleVerify

“CTV continues to experience this phenomenon and, increasingly, audio is quietly becoming a new channel of interest and attack.”


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