White Ops Research Reveals Prevalence and Impact of Marketing Fraud on U.S. Businesses

2021 Benchmark Report Shows Marketing Fraud Is a Bigger Problem Than Marketing Leaders Realize, With Two-Thirds of Respondents Experiencing Fraud in the Past Year

NEW YORK-- February 24, 2021 --White Ops, the global leader in collective protection against sophisticated bot attacks and fraud, today published its 2021 Marketing Fraud Benchmarking Survey and Report. Insights were collected from 129 digital marketing leaders with performance marketing responsibilities to compile a report benchmarking the industry’s understanding of marketing fraud models, the scale of these threats, and their response to the challenge. The report uncovered what marketers in the field are seeing and doing today, as well as where the gaps and challenges in protection lie.

The survey, conducted by Renegade with support from White Ops, was completed during the 4th quarter of 2020 and collected responses from digital marketing leaders across a broad variety of industries. 

Marketing fraud involves the use of technology to falsely simulate human engagement in digital marketing campaigns for the purpose of siphoning money allocated to a marketing budget. Examples include media buy fraud, lead-generation fraud, retargeting fraud, app install fraud, in-app engagement fraud, and competitive assaults.

“Marketers know digital fraud is happening, but are struggling to identify and combat it, and the cost is substantial,” said Tamer Hassan, CEO and co-founder of White Ops. “We are seeing increasing requests from marketing leaders to help them ensure their campaigns and spend are connecting with the real humans that they want and need to reach. Fraud is a huge industry problem that is negatively impacting companies of all sizes and maturities to the tune of millions of dollars a year.”

The 2021 Marketing Fraud Benchmarking Survey and Report supports this fact. Some key findings in the report include:

  • Two-thirds of respondents experienced some sort of marketing fraud in the past year.
  • More than 20% of respondents believe that at least a quarter of the contacts in their marketing and sales database are fake, fraudulent, or bots.
  • 43% of respondents could not estimate how much of the traffic coming to their website is bot activity as opposed to the humans they wanted to reach.  
  • 33% of respondents said it was the responsibility of the security team to prevent marketing fraud, while 40% said it was the marketing team’s job. 
  • While a majority of marketers (75%) are concerned about new data privacy regulations about data privacy, less than half of respondents regularly remove fake or fraudulent contacts from their marketing and sales database.

Hassan continued, “Marketers need to get a handle on fraud and take ownership of it in order to protect their budgets, reputation, security practices and compliance to increase their conversion rates, drive business results and outperform their competitors.”

The report reveals additional valuable statistics, top causes for concern and hope in the industry, as well as tactics for stopping marketing fraud and driving better business results. 

For more information about White Ops and the 2021 Marketing Fraud Benchmarking Survey and Report, visit the report’s page on the White Ops website. For more information about White Ops’ Marketing Integrity, please visit