App Install Fraud Prevention Without Tools

The impact of app install fraud is extremely big. AppsFlyer, Adjust, Tune, and other Mobile Measurement Partners (MMP) have their own suite to prevent that from happening or if it is happened it can be countermeasured. However, subscribing the service will typically cost you a lot.

Is there any way to¬† prevent it from happening? I think only Adjust has the feature. I’m sorry the title is kinda misleading because it is really hard to prevent the fraud, but what I offer you here is manual audit as the countermeasure which is more convenient rather than paying about $6,000-10,000 a month for the tool.

The Countermeasure

If you are a small advertiser you will be running out of money if you’re partnering with really bad agency or publishers. Say, you have $3,000 monthly marketing budget to drive install for your app. You take a $0.5 CPI deal, it sounds good. You think in the end you’ll get 6,000 app installs, it’s true but only few users are engaged with your app.

How about 60% is fraud, 20% is stolen from your organic installs and 20% is pure customer? Then you have 1,200 users with $2.5 each. Five times more expensive. It has already happened, damn what should you do? You couldn’t do anything, except threatening the agency or publishers that you won’t use them again or will roaring on social networks.

Manual Fraud Fighting

Don’t worry without fraud prevention tools we can still do manual combat against fraud, yet the effect is huge. Next time you should put this in your IO before running mobile app install campaign. Qualified app install should fulfill these requirements.

  • CTIT >= average of your app click to install time. Take the number from organic if you can.
  • App version must be the latest. Define yours. If the install version is lower than your defined version then it must be APK install. You don’t want it.
  • TTI >= average of your app install time. It depends on your app size. Experiment and calculate your app install time across device and connections.
  • No duplicate IPs.
  • Aim for typical device brands that already installed your app and generated biggest revenue. For example, you only want to accredit Samsung S9+ as a legit install.
  • Forbid Chinese devices.

By applying the above requirements into your IO, your campaign will be much safer than ever. You’ll be rich and shining.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck.


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