Verification ID

Stop Scam Advertisers In Their Tracks With Authenteq’s Real-Life Identity Verification

Digital marketing has become one of the biggest ways for modern businesses to grow market share, and one of the most effective categories of digital marketing is “paid advertising”. Anyone browsing the Internet comes across a score of such ads on virtually every website they visit. Every single year the market for paid online advertising generates an increasing amount of revenue 

Some of the major players in the online advertising industry are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google. LinkedIn ads typically target professionals based on their interest or job title, while Facebook ads are displayed among the user’s newsfeed while they scroll. Google AdWords offers a targeted approach to paid advertising, displaying sponsored ads at the top of the search results page based on keywords that the consumer searches for.

Google also brings together websites and advertisers who wish to display third-party ads on their websites.  This service is called the Google Display Network and it allows the website operator to earn money through advertising by providing the advertiser with a place to promote their content. Most of the time when you visit a website, the advertisements being shown have been bought with a third party company like Google rather than directly with the website itself. 

This process has all but eliminated the relationship websites have with their advertisers. As these advertisements are typically geo-targeted, websites are often not even aware of what advertisements are being displayed on their sites. This brings up an important question, what happens when someone takes out paid advertisements in bad faith?

Scam Ads = Bad For Everyone Involved (except the scammer)

Although most of the advertisements out there are for legitimate companies, we have seen a slew of scam advertisements that seek to rip off unwitting consumers in a variety of ways. From ads for illegitimate sites to ads featuring stolen images of celebrities, the amount of bad faith advertisers that promote scams online is quickly becoming a problem. This is especially visible in advertisement markets where due to lack of demand the price of taking out ads is low. Financial journalist Martin Lewis launched a defamation lawsuit against Facebook in April of 2018 after his image had been used on multiple fake ads aimed at deceiving customers. Although he eventually dropped the suit once Facebook agreed to make changes on the platform, fraudsters posted thousands of these fake ads before they were taken down. There is little stopping the people involved in setting up these scams from trying again.

There have even been reports of companies paying ad platforms to display their ads only to find out that the platforms themselves were scamming them. The online advertising platform scams 3ve and Methbot involved companies paying to place their ads on websites only to find out that the ads were never seen; the scammers used a server farm and a botnet to simulate visits to the companies’ pages to fool the companies into thinking their ads had been viewed. These scammers collected more than $36 million from companies before being indicted by the US Department of Justice.

Legitimate advertising platforms themselves have been also been the victims of bad actors, through a process called “ad stuffing” where expensive video ads are placed behind cheap banner spots without the advertising platform knowing they’re there. These secretive video advertisements don’t just result in the advertising platform being swindled They degrade the customer experience in places where user experience experts have determined static advertisement content provides the best experience and that is in addition to draining the battery and data of mobile-based visitors faster.

The above examples clearly show that the reality is that advertising platforms are having a hard time keeping bad faith advertisers off their platform. According to eMarketer, the worldwide digital ad spending in 2019 will rise by 17.6% YOY to $333.25 billion. Isn’t it time this market matured to a point where all reasonable effort is made to protect advertisers, advertising platforms and consumers?

Authenteq Provides The Solution To Advertisement Fraud

The only way to keep fraudsters off the advertising platform for good is to introduce a way to accurately verify (Real Life Identity Verification) the identity of the person paying for the advertisement. While requiring identity documents such as driver’s licenses or passports is one step in identity verification, it doesn’t go far enough to ensure the real-life identity of the ad buyer is verified. Bad faith advertisers can continue to sign up using stolen credentials until they require to verify their real-life identity in a process that requires their physical presence and facial biometrics.

Authenteq’s identity verification solution uses a mix of technology, biometric information, and physical documentation to verify the real-life identity of the end customer. By using government-grade facial recognition technology to match the customer’s identity document with a selfie taken in real-time, Authenteq ensures that the person is going through the process matches the person in the identity document. Performing a liveness check is the next step to ensure that the selfie provided for the biometric match is taken in real-time and is of a real person. Together these procedures prevent fraudsters from using stolen credentials to impersonate real people when they sign up for advertising platforms. Without a stolen identity to hide behind, people are much less likely to commit these acts of advertising fraud. And if they do commit fraud or other forms of abuse on the platform their real-life identity – and not just their digital persona – can be banned. 

When a full identity verification with Authenteq is guaranteed to take less than 60 seconds and some people even manage to complete it in as little as 10 seconds it’s hard to justify the current status quo.

To protect against fraudulent advertisers by ensuring the real-life identity of your customers, check out Authenteq’s identity verification solution and read more about how we can benefit your business. Contact us today for more information!