TechARC’s report titled “India digital ad-fraud market” states that in 2018, ad fraud cost a total of $1.63 billion, contributing to 8.7% of the global fraud. Ecommerce contributed to over 51% of the total ad fraud in India, via customer acquisition, engagement and retention.

Web platforms were more susceptible to frauds over app fraud because their digital teams were more likely to look at app fraud over web fraud. The web had higher chances of fake leads and keyword abuse over apps. Despite this, app fraud led to 85% of total digital ad fraud.

Highlights from the report

  • Video fraud is becoming more sophisticated to gain more on premium advertising channels as video consumption increases
  • Both traditional and online marketers need to look at O2O (unclear if online to offline or otherwise) for ad fraud strategy.
  • Companies with solutions for ad fraud are ‘better equipped’ to have higher user engagement because they can contain abuse

Category wise break up

  • 51% from digital commerce
  • 26% from leisure and travel
  • 13% from gaming
  • 8% from finance and banking
  • 1% from healthcare and pharma

Recent online frauds in India

In November 2018, the Indian Railways deactivated 1,268 user IDs on IRCTC after forfeiting 1,875 scheduled e-tickets after it conducted raids against e-ticketing fraud in over 100 cities in the country. At the time,

  • 185 people were likely carrying out online ticket fraud; 40 of them were arrested on Western Railways and Eastern Railway
  • 1,875 scheduled e-tickets worth Rs 35 lakh were forfeited
  • 166 cases under section 143 of the Railways Act were registered for investigation

In July 2018, 37 people were allegedly duped on OLX by fraudsters who used leaked soft copies of Aadhaar and ID cards of CISF and Army personnel. The CISF and Army headquarters received several calls and complaint emails — questioning the integrity of the men in uniform — accusing their personnel of duping potential customers on OLX.