How Scammers Have Taken Advantage of the Boom in Internet Marketing

>scamThe Internet has become the newest frontier for advertising and marketing — and businesses around the globe are spending billions to take advantage of online marketing’s many benefits.

However, with these benefits comes the risk of becoming victim to the frauds and scams that run rampant across the web — something which is already happening to many companies marketing themselves online.

According to a March 27 Wall Street Journal report, scammers have found a way to profit off online marketing techniques like pay-per-click advertising, where companies pay a website each time an Internet user clicks on the company’s sponsored ad. By creating websites with computerized “bot traffic,” the scammers are able to collect payments from advertisers without having to generate web traffic from actual humans.

Companies are already wasting billions on frauds targeted toward Internet advertisers.

Ad-fraud detection firm White Ops reported that last year, fraudsters had stolen some $6 billion in the U.S. alone, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Several companies have hired online-ad auditing firms to help combat fraudulent ad spending. The exact locations and identities of the fraudsters are often difficult to pin down, making prosecution next to impossible.

There are a few different options available for companies hoping to take measures against advertising fraud.

An article on Business2Community outlines several preventative measures a company can take against online advertising scams. By only advertising on sites that offer content relevant to your brand, you guarantee visibility to the target audience for your company. It’s also important to avoid advertising with ad networks that place ads on hundreds or thousands of websites — this will make your company’s ads more open to fraud.

“Find someone you know, someone that you’ve done business with, or someone that has previously worked with someone you know,” explains Tiffiny Hladczuk, manager at Integrated Technology Services, Inc. “Be sure to also do some research online about any company you may be looking at.”

Ultimately, there’s no definitive solution to Internet fraudsters. However, your company can take measures now to help keep itself safe from losing money and to keep reaping the countless benefits that online marketing has to offer.

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