About click fraud through VPN: what it is and how to prevent it

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About click fraud through VPN: what it is and how to prevent it

PPC remains one of the more reliable ways of lead generation. However, click fraud via VPN is steadily gaining pace there. This makes timely online fraud detection and fraud prevention ever more important. 

This article from Covery anti-fraud system covers the topic of click fraud through VPN usage. What it is, why it happens, and how can it be detected and prevented using anti-fraud tools. Enterprise-grade risk mitigation, fraud prevention, and chargeback management platform popular in the USA, the UK, and Europe, Covery has a ton of expertise dealing with click fraud — and today we explain how we can help you overcome this threat.

How is click fraud done?

Click fraud is when a user clicks on a banner in a PPC campaign without actually converting it into a lead. Click fraud is usually performed by bots and ordered by sneaky webmasters wishing to cash in on clicks through their websites — or by competitors trying to exhaust your marketing budget without any revenue potential for your business.

Click fraud can be done by a live person (from India, China, or the Philippines), a script, or a bot and is quite hard to distinguish from misclicks by legitimate users. This is why reliable fraud prevention tools are needed to handle it. VPN lends a hand here — but it can become a double-edged sword.

Does VPN help with fraud?

You can configure a blacklist of certain countries from accessing your resources — or configure a whitelist of countries exclusively allowed to visit them. A combination of firewall and VPN is a great tool for that. 

However, fraudsters use VPNs to overcome such protective measures, as it helps them spoof their IP addresses. This way, scammers can perform click fraud on your PPC banners to minimize the efficiency of your marketing campaigns.

How is click fraud done?

In short, if you detect click fraud (hundreds/thousands of PPC banner clicks that don’t lead to any results on your site), you can block the IP address from which such activity took place. However, fraudsters can use VPN services to change their IP addresses and continue their scheme. Whether done manually or through script/bot — this will just deplete your marketing budget and increase the cost for legitimate PPC clicks for your campaigns. 

How can a business enable fraud prevention then?

Covery — click fraud detection and prevention

Every device used to perform any activity online has a set of hardware/software identifiers that form its unique fingerprint. Operating system version, browser version, installed plugins, screen resolution, language preferences, IP address, etc. Moreover, every device should transmit such details in every data package for debugging purposes, so the developers can emulate the device if any crash occurs to create a bugfix.

Covery is capable of capturing this information and creating a unique digital fingerprint for every device used on your website. This way, if a fraudster changes their IP due to enabling VPN, we can still identify them via the rest of the parameters and continuously block them. 

This ensures Covery can timely detect and prevent click fraud through VPN. 

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as Covery anti-fraud system is capable of much. much more. Order a free demo and see what other services we can perform to help secure your revenues and enable reliable fraud prevention!