google-mobile-smartphones-blue-ss-1920-800x450On Thursday, it was reported by Ad Age  that Google had pulled several apps from the Play Store after the release of a report on in-app ad fraud.

The focal point of the report was the migration of the ongoing battle in display advertising to the apps ecosystem.  Forensiq, an ad monitoring firm, published the study, and within the report, there were several ways that the company observed malicious apps defrauding advertisers and draining users’ smartphone data plans and batteries.  One of the biggest ways that these malicious ads would mess with smartphones was to run constantly in the background, serving ads in high volume throughout the day without end.  According to Forensiq, the estimated annual loss that advertisers suffered as a result of malicious apps could approach $1 billion globally this year.

When Ad Age tried contacting the maker of two suspended apps, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor, they found that the email addresses listed in the Play store weren’t valid.  It was confirmed by a Google spokesperson that several apps had been suspended, but didn’t comment on the Forensiq report of give out any other details on the matter.

Forensiq’s research found similar activity on both iOS and Windows Phone apps.  If you look at the chart below, you’ll see the breakdown of the levels of fraud Forensiq found by platform.



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