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New Ad Fraud Scheme Targeting Streaming Television Swindles Millions

A sophisticated new advertisement fraud scheme has been detected in the television streaming industry which has likely impacted millions in ad dollars.

The operation, which has been nicknamed ‘StreamScam’, takes advantages of flaws in streaming TV ad-serving technology to fool marketers into paying for advertisements that were never actually seen by viewers on real devices or apps.

According to Oracle Data Cloud, the scam likely saw swindlers steal around $14.5 million over the last four months.

The fraudsters accelerated the operation by faking even more devices and apps to fool marketers and the scheme is still ongoing, Oracle claims.

StreamScam swindlers used a trick known as ‘spoofing’ to lead marketers to believe their ads were running on legitimate apps and streaming services.

StreamScam involved 28.8 million fabricated household IP addresses, and spoofed about 3,600 apps and 3,400 internet-connected TV device models, according to Oracle.

“They take advantage of there being no direct connection between the merchant and the buyer by inserting themselves into the middle,” Derek Wise, chief product officer of Oracle Data Cloud, told The Wall Street Journal.

Ad spending on internet connected TV sets, where streaming mostly happens, will reach almost $8bn in the US this year and will likely top $15.6 billion in 2023, according to research firm eMarketer.

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