Ad Fraud Trends by FraudScore: 2020–2022

16 March 2023
Reading: 4 min

Changes that happened in the world in 2022 were as drastic as during two previous years. Global advertising community went through several crises in the past three years, and 2022 did not hold back. 

In this Ad Fraud Report FraudScore shares:

  • data about online advertising traffic, and detected ad fraud in 2022
  • overview of the most fraudulent global regions, and the most detected and widespread types of ad fraud
  • statistics for fraudulent traffic for both mobile and web, and the differences between the two
  • details about the most fraudulent app categories on iOS and Android;
  • comparison between the results of 2022, 2021 and 2020; three-year trends and possible outcomes for the upcoming years
  • and some extra interesting aspects of 2022 in the global online advertising market

About FraudScore

FraudScore is an independent antifraud solution. FraudScore works with brands across the globe and has provided fraud detection and prevention for all kinds of advertising campaigns (CPI, CPM, CPC, CPA, and programmatic) since 2015. FraudScore works with both mobile and web traffic, and is known for its unique approach to fraud diagnosis and elimination.

FraudScore is a SaaS provider and is not affiliated with any platforms, ad agencies, affiliate networks, advertisers, etc. FraudScore gives impartial traffic checkups and is autonomous in its evaluations. 

2022 in facts

  • Global advertising market values is estimated around $800 billion in 2022
  • Ad Fraud is capable of reaching $100 billion in 2023 already. Previous forecasts predicted $100 billion by 2025
  • 29.39% of all traffic was fraudulent in 2022
  • 32% of mobile traffic was fraudulent
  • 29.5% of iOS traffic was fraudulent
  • 31.35% of Android traffic was fraudulent
  • 26.14% of web traffic was fraudulent
  • Top-3 fraud GEOs are: Russia & CIS, EU and Middle East
  • China is the most fraudulent GEO in mobile traffic
  • Russia & CIS is the most fraudulent GEO in web traffic
  • The most widespread ad fraud types: Proxy fraud (bots and botnets, adware, malware etc.), IP fraud, Attribution fraud & Blacklisted sources

Global Ad Fraud in 2022: Distribution by Months

Total — 29.39%

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
% 24.80 24.27 23.41 37.40 27.31 23.14 23,02 29.54 32.92 38.22 36.46 32.20



APAC 22.62
China 28.14
EU 28.57
India 23.50
Middle East 30.87
Russia &  CIS 34.82
US/CA 19


Distribution by the Main Detected Fraud Categories

Attribution Fraud 18%
Proxy Fraud 16.8%
IP distribution Anomalies 16.5%
Blacklist 16.4%
Device Fraud 10.9%
Browser Fraud 7.5%
Datacenter traffic 4.4%
OS Fraud 3.3%
Incentive 3%
Other 3.1%

Mobile Ad Fraud in 2022

Distribution by Months — total 32%

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
% 23 25.73 24.45 38.46 37 29.33 24.12 30.53 34.10 38.09 36.75 33.22


Distribution by the Main Detected Fraud Categories

Attribution fraud 23%
IP Distribution Anomalies 16%
Proxy Fraud 15%
Blacklist 13%
Device Fraud 9%
Browser Fraud 8%
Datacenter traffic 5%
OS Fraud 5%
Incentive 4%
Other 2%

Android and iOS

The Most Fraud-prone App Categories on Android

Android in 2022 — Total amount of ad fraud in Android traffic: 31.35%

Tools & Productivity 47.2%
Health & Fitness 44%
Games 42.4%
Food (including delivery, dark stores, take out, etc.) 33%
Books & Education 32.5%


The Most Fraud-prone App Categories on iOS

iOS in 2022 — The total amount of ad fraud in iOS traffic 29.5%

Tools & Productivity 41.5%
Games & Leisure 42.4%
Food & Groceries 33%
Entertainment & Hobby 32.5%

Web Ad Fraud in 2022

Distribution by Months — Total 26.14%

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
% 31.91 28.39 23.60 27.21 24.97 23.09 19.19 21.33 19.51 39,59 31,41 20,44


Geo-distribution in web traffic

Russia &  CIS 20.88
EU 20.83
US/CA 16.88
China 16.46
APAC 10.9
India 10.07
Middle East 9.94

Outcomes & Trends from 2022

FraudScore’s data for 2022 can demonstrate that the whole trend of stealing and faking at least one third of global ad traffic is still there. During the last four years, the amount of detected ad fraud has not dropped below 30%, and this trend is strong. 

There are differences between 2021 and 2022 — like, for instance, top three GEOs in 2022 are CIS region, EU and Middle East, while in 2021 the leaders were China, EU, and Russia & CIS — but adware, bots, emulators are still the most detected ad fraud types. 

This report is devoted to traffic processed only by FraudScore and demonstrates a part of the global ad fraud threat. But the amount of detected bad traffic, the distributions between fraud types, GEOs and platforms, are relative to demonstrate the danger that ad fraud is to the global advertising market.

Global forecasts and predictions are changing every year, and those demonstrate one big global continuous trend — ad fraud is spreading. But the question is, do all the participants of the online advertising market want to detect, stop and eliminate fraudulent traffic? Let’s find out in the upcoming years!

Get your full version of FraudScore’s ad fraud report and learn the detailed statistics and outcomes of 2022.

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