- Google has removed several apps from its Play Store in a show of force to combat app fraud.
- The move was likely prompted by a report from Forensiq that found app fraud will possibly cost app advertisers $857 million this year.
- Android apps were the most highly flagged making up almost 55% of traffic distribution.
Forensiq, a fraud detection company, ran a study on 12 million unique mobile devices running on Android, iOS and Windows, and identified more than 5,000 apps that engaged in app fraud. The apps in question -- including games called Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor -- were found to secretly run ads, invisible to the user, whether the app was actively launched or not. After Forensiq released its report Google took action and dropped several offending apps from its Play store. Both Marketing Land and the Wall Street Journal reached out to a number of the dropped apps, but either didn't get a response, or found the email addresses for those apps to be invalid.
In the Forensiq report, Android apps had the most instances of fraud with just under 55% of traffic distribution, followed by iOS apps at almost 43%. Windows trailed with under 3% fraudulent app distribution. Marketing Dive earlier reported that this study is in-line with previous research from Apsalar, which found global issues with app installation and transaction fraud.