What's the Programmatic Fraud Fooling Even You?

It hides beneath the surface. It can be twisted to resemble a lapse in judgment, or the equivalent of leaving your front door wide-open while you’re on vacation.
It’s called daypart fraud.
Some context:
Every day, your DSP or network sends a report containing all the normal La-De-Da things:

  • Impressions
  • Cost
  • CPM
  • Clicks
  • CPC
  • CTR
  • Perhaps viewability
  • Creative, size, etc

So what’s the problem?
All this data is sent by day…calendar day.
However, a ton of programmatic fraud starts precisely at 12 midnight.
Why?
When a brand-new day starts for networks/exchanges/publishers (at midnight): they need to make money quickly. Consequently, they open their gates to traffic which is often fraudulent.
But when you look at impressions by hour: you may discover things brands hate…

Looking at impressions by hour: 82% of this campaign are shown between 12am-3am, peaking at 3am.
12 midnight is the hour that publishers and exchanges wake up and say: “I have to make money today…starting right now!”
Botnets often come out and play between 12 midnight and 5am (when demand for inventory is low and publishers/exchanges will take anything they can get).
Very sophisticated fraudulent botnets.
Does anyone pick up on this? Not when the standard report format is by calendar day versus hour.
Because C3 Metrics deploys its own proprietary viewability tag, piggybacking with every advertiser’s impression, that impression data is summarized in an easy seen format by hour.
In the above example, simply look for abnormally shaped spikes peaking in the wee hours: and bingo, you’ve got daypart fraud.
Now, is this simply a lapse in judgment (someone forgot to deploy daypart controls when setting up the campaign)?
Or is it a combination of someone forgetting to close the front door while leaving for a very long vacation…inviting bad things to happen?
Either way, this is when fraud happens, and agencies, and advertisers typically have no idea it’s happening because the data they get is by calendar day, not by hour.
“Daypart fraud hides in plain sight, and it happens a lot more than anyone thinks,” said C3 Metrics advertising attribution measurement COO Jeff Greenfield. “if you ask for the same report you’ve been getting for years…but ask for it by hour, you’ll discover if it’s happening to you. We even have a standard email written up for advertisers to use when they send the screenshot to their network or DSP.”
Daypart fraud: it toys with the best of brands.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
All guesswork and no display makes Jack a botnet toy.
Scared now?