Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Advertising fraud is easy, legal, and extremely profitable. A fraudster can set up a website, scrape content from the internet, and run programmatic advertisements against that website. The fraudster can then purchase bot traffic. Those bots will visit the page, consume advertisements, and return profit to the owner of the page.
In a past life, Shailin Dhar worked for a company that set up these types of advertising fraud schemes. He was fascinated by the industry in the same way that plenty of people get fascinated with the fast-moving market dynamics that are enabled by modern software. But over time, the novelty wore off and Shailin realized how big the fraud problem is and how much it was hurting people.
In today’s episode Shailin and I discuss how bots and poorly aligned incentives lead to systemic failures and significant financial loss for brands who purchase advertising.