http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/business/ad-fraud-may-become-the-second-largest-organized-crime-enterprise/article/467413

Ad fraud may become the second largest organized crime enterprise

Posted Jun 10, 2016 by Owen Weldon
Online ad fraud is becoming a huge problem and it is one of the fastest growing organized crime businesses in the world.
Cybercriminals can find a  safe  space to operate in dark web marketplaces  according to researchers
Cybercriminals can find a "safe" space to operate in dark web marketplaces, according to researchers
Robyn Beck, AFP/File
The World Federation of Advertisers released a report that estimates that fake internet traffic schemes will become the second largest market for criminal organizations behind drug trafficking.
The WFA estimated the current pace of growth in the online ad industry and then extrapolating it out over the course of the next 10 years. The organization, which is an international marketing trade group, also assumed that spending on digital media would increase.
The projected estimate for online fraud is $50 billion by the year 2025, and some estimates are as high as three times that.
One form of ad fraud is malware that makes your browser act like a robot. The malware visits websites while pretending to be the user. The more visits that are recorded, the more money they make.
If the malware gains access to your computer, it may do more than just click on ads. Some malware can be used to steal personal information.
What The WFA Recommends To Combat Ad Fraud
The WFA's report contains recommendations to combat online ad fraud. They include advertisers developing in-house expertise to support the selection of vendors and to work with cyber-security partners to learn and understand common threats.
Brands should also set clear expectations of what they demand from their partners and they should encourage sharing information that relates to preventing ad fraud. The WFA recommends advertisers avoid run-of-exchange buys and stick with databases of safe sites.