Latest CTV fraud “RapidFire” costs advertisers $20 Million every month

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
August 27, 2021, 5:15 PM UTC

The scam reportedly makes $10 million a month in ad revenue and $20 million after factoring in fees and other transactional costs.

Ad measurement and verification company Method Media Intelligence (MMI) has claimed to uncover a connected TV fraud scheme, dubbed “RapidFire”.  According to the company, the scam uses real-time bidding to target server-side ad insertion (SSAI) to feed fake bid requests into ad exchanges running open CTV inventory auctions.

The scheme seems to be more widespread than recent bot-based frauds. For instance, instead of fake apps and bots, RapidFire used automation tools like Python script to generate a bogus inventory. MMI has identified a five-member team of former ad tech professionals who are the brains behind the scam.

According to Shailin Dhar, CEO and founder of MMI, buyers cannot identify fake bid requests since they cannot authenticate requests after leaving SSAI servers. Additionally, traditional verification methods often fail to detect scams because of their dependence on IP addresses to detect invalid activity.

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