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Sofia Alves

What You Need to Know About Ad Fraud

By | Digital Marketing

What is ad fraud and how does it work?

The last ten plus years have seen of the rise of a new, and (seemingly) unstoppable, industry – digital advertising. In a world where mobile screens have all but substituted television ones, and tech savvy generations grow up in perfect symbioses with their phones, mobile marketing quickly became the most relevant medium to reach potential new users.

As of 2018, the digital ad space reached the $90 billion mark in the US alone, followed by China ($50), UK ($16), Japan ($13), and Germany ($8). These are staggering numbers for a business still in its teen years. Therefore, it is no surprise that such a fast, uncontrolled, and unruly upsurge of a brand-new business ecosystem, becomes the perfect environment for fraud. And if digital advertising in going through puberty, ad fraud is its growing pains.

But what exactly is ad fraud? At its most basic definition:

Ad fraud is a type of scam in which the perpetrator tricks advertisers into paying for something that is worthless to them, such as fake traffic, fake leads or misrepresented and ineffective ad placements.

Let us break this concept down and give you a few tips on how to prevent ad fraud in digital advertising.

What are the most common ad fraudulent practices?

Here’s a list of the most used forms of ad fraud. At the pace at which the industry is expanding, and new creative methods of fraud continue to pop up, it will be interesting to see how this list shifts in the near future.

Why is traffic fraud so menacing to my business?

Recent reports state that fraudulent practices comprise as much as one-third of all paid impressions. The colossal mobile in-app fraud scandal uncovered late last year serves as a reminder that ad fraud is at its prime and still evolving.

It’s a virtual certainty that the advertising market will never be without it, with an approximate $20 billion estimated to be lost to ad fraud a year.

With fraudsters coming up with new methods to fake clicks and installs on almost a daily basis, handling traffic fraud can be a daunting task. Channels and ad formats, such as mobile or video, are today’s new breeding grounds for fraudulent practices. The increase of programmatic buying (and the blind inventory available through RTB exchanges) has also propelled ad fraud to new heights.

It’s a virtual certainty that the advertising market will never be without it, with an approximate $20 billion estimated to be currently lost to ad fraud a year. This to say that, if ad fraud is not properly understood, detected, and avoided, it will harm your business, including brand reputation, viability and performance. Advertisers must stay on top of their games when it comes to awareness of existing fraud methods, as well as ways these can be mitigated.

What can I do to prevent fraud?

You might think that ad fraud will never affect you but it can truly affect anyone. From having millions invested in user acquisition campaigns, to just browsing the web – being online is all you need to be at risk. So, the more you know about fraud, the better you’ll be able to tackle it. To help you kick start your anti-fraud strategy, we enlist a few simple first steps that can be added to your advertising strategy to prevent fraud.

Pay attention to your running times

Bot fraud is more active during certain times of the day, such as from midnight to early morning, or during working times. Avoid peak time for bot activity to minimize their risk.

Constant Campaign optimization

Keep an on-going eye on your campaign performance to see where the best clicks are coming from and stop bad sources.

Use third-party monitoring

Prevent fraudsters from clicking in your ads by checking the traffic sent to your campaigns in real-time.

Select a bullet-proof ad fraud software

Another great way to minimize your exposure to fraud is by selecting an anti-fraud software that can help you detect and eliminate fraudulent practices.

Which fraud protection tool should I be using?

The industry experts at freenet digital have experienced every trick in the book applied by third parties trying to misuse our products and trick our customers. With a lack of software options being offered, we took matters into our own hands and built vene overwatch, a two-folded fraud protection solution.

vene overwatch can be used as a standalone solution, catered to the needs of Mobile Carriers and Billing Providers, or as a premium feature offered by vene dash, our ad tracking solution. By enabling the vene overwatch fraud prevention tool, you’ll have a proactive approach towards risky traffic. Our in-house built enhanced algorithms and 24/7 monitoring assure that you only get high-quality traffic.

Check our blog post on Performance Marketing Made Simple to get a full overview of the vene group of products and learn how we can take your profits to the next level.


vene is a performance marketing and compliance platform, quality built in Berlin by industry leaders. vene tracking, fraud protection and RTB solutions enable digital advertisers to expand their businesses in an uncomplicated, secure and profitable way.

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barcelona skyline

The vene Guide to Barcelona

By | Events

Whether you’re an established performance marketer, an affiliate, a publisher, a network or an advertiser, you’ll be heading to Barcelona at the next week with two things in mind: make MONEY and have FUN! The vene team is here to make sure you track, optimize, combine and accomplish your goals.

First stop: the click industry meetup sponsored by vene and hosted by ClickBid Barcelona – MWC pre Cocktail party.

Besides ensuring you have a blast on the dancefloor, the vene team wants you enjoy yourself during the day. Therefore, we put together a few tips to make the most of your time in in one of the most beautiful cities on the planet – Barcelona!

Best Tapas Places in Town

Make sure you don’t leave Barcelona without tasting some patatas bravascalamares and, our ultimate favorite dessert, crema catalana.

Cerveceria Catalana – the vene team has legendary memories of this amazing tapas place so we place it on top of our list. Reservation is advice!

Sensi Bistro Tapes – another vene team favorite. Tell the chef your cravings and be surprised by what he brings you. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Bar Cañete – according to Conde Nasté “If you eat tapas only once while in Barcelona, let it be at Bar Cañete.”

Local Tips to Follow

Here’s a few tips to enjoy Barcelona as if you are a local.

Dinner time – Catalonians have their dinners late. Restaurants might be full of tourists in the early hours of the evening but around 22h, the locals take over. Join around this time for a quieter and less touristy experience.

Gintonic – after a busy day at MWC and a very local late dinner, treat yourself to what the world calls a G&T but Barcelona simply treats as a “gintonic”. Just like that, no “and”, no “gee”, all pleasure.

Beware of belongings – sadly, Barcelona is notorious for its pick-pocketing problem. So keep your wallet and business cards close, especially after that gintonic.

Useful Sentences

The main language in Barcelona is Catalan (not Castellan) so make a local happy by showing them you know the basics!

Bon Dia: Good Morning!
Hola: Hello!
Bona Tarda: Good Afternoon!
Adeu: Goodbye!
Merci: Thank you! (like in French, but with emphasis on ‘e’ instead of ‘i’)
¡Una cerveza, por favor!: A beer, please!

Arriving at MWC

The Mobile World Congress 2019 will take place between February 25th – 28th at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain. Here’s a few useful links to arrive, get settled, and start making business.

Where Is It
How To Get There
Opening Times
Get Your Badge

Arriving at the Clickbid Cocktail Party

Get to the Clickbid party hassle free and ready to mix and mingle with fellow affiliate marketing attendees!

Schedule: February 24th, 19:00 – 21:30h
Location: The Gates Barcelona Hotel rooftop
Dress Code: smart, casual and branded accepted

Need more tips about Barcelona or affiliate marketing? We’re glad to help!
Just drop us an email at

¡Hasta pronto!
Your vene team

vene is a customer centric ad-tech marketing tool, built in Berlin by industry experts. vene mission is to enable digital advertisers to strengthen and secure their businesses in an uncomplicated, secure and profitable way. 

Learn more at:

Affiliate World Asia – Not Just Another Event

By | Digital Marketing, Events

When Affiliate World Asia first started, in 2015, it was the newcomer in an already overcrowded pool of affiliate marketing events. Was it worth attending? We sent one member of our team all the way from Berlin to Bangkok to check it out. By 2018, three years and three editions later, AWA has become one of the best events in the industry, and vene is proud to be an official sponsor.

Two reasons elevate AWA above other industry forums:

  • Reputation. It’s one of the events organized by Affiliate World Conferences, the best organized and attended affiliate events in the industry.
  • Location. Hosted in Bangkok, a vibrant and exotic Southeast Asia metropole with great weather in December. This makes AWA the perfect escape from the northern hemisphere this time of the year and gets everybody in just the right mood to make money.

Let us now break these two points down and dive into the main aspects that set AWA apart, making it the best place to boost your performance marketing profits.


The latest edition was attended by approx. 3000 people, with an audience made up mainly of affiliates, publishers, networks, and service providers. Throughout the main conference, there were several speeches held by super affiliates (the name given to top affiliates), CEOs and industry experts. These talks were full of business tips, insider knowledge and the fuel for three days of intense and productive networking.


The main topic for AWA 2018 was e-commerce, prompting an array of talks and activities connected to the topic. For instance, the day before the official start of the conference, the shecommerce event took place, with workshops and networking sessions fully dedicated to women in the ecommerce vertical. Two of our team members were among the female-only attendance, giving it rave reviews.


It was interesting to notice how the visitors interacted with the vene booth. There were the early birds, approaching the booth at the beginning of the day and a big wave of attendees showing up at the end (the last 2 hours) of every day. The middle of the day was usually reserved for the activities and speeches constantly taking place.


If the day wasn’t enough to connect with everybody you wanted to, fear not. Buzzing Bangkok doesn’t stop when the sun sets, nor does the AWA. In the evening, there were many events to choose from, such as an official cocktail party, and satellite parties hosted at the best clubs and rooftop bars in the city. This created plenty of legendary opportunities to network while having fun. Work hard, play hard.


It’s not just Bangkok and the VIP attendees’ list that contribute to the successful dynamic of AWA. The conference takes place, since its first edition, at the Centara Grand Hotel, a modern and well-located hotel with an optimal event floor. The halls are spacious yet cozy, with tons of sitting opportunities, making it effortless to connect with partners. And did we mention the business-making rooftop pool?


If it wasn’t clear by now, the vene team is a huge fan of the AWA. We always have a great time, connect with industry peers, and above all – make money. Drop us a line and meet us there next year, or in any other event across the globe, in 2019.


vene is a customer centric ad-tech marketing tool, built in Berlin by industry experts. vene mission is to enable digital advertisers to strengthen and secure their businesses in an uncomplicated, secure and profitable way.

Learn more at:
Get in touch: