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Global mobile app installs fraud exposure reached $5.4 bn

Install fraud rate detected in UAE campaigns is 20% in 2022
Global mobile app installs fraud exposure reached $5.4 bn
Mobile app install fraud increased 157% in 2022

Recent data from management consulting company McKinsey shows that global mobile app installs fraud exposure increased 157% to reach $5.4 billion, with bots responsible for over 70% of fraud across all regions. In terms of impact, for the MENA region, the fraud exposure (estimated financial value of fraud) now tops $65 million.

The report revealed that in the UAE, consumer engagement on apps is 1.5 times higher than in developed markets of Europe and North America. UAE organizations recognize that mobile apps are now critical for their business and an AppsFlyer study from last year found that 9 in 10 local businesses offer dedicated mobile apps for customers. In this crowded space, attracting and retaining consumers is critical to success, and consequently, through 2022, app installs and ad spending in the UAE increased by 55% compared to 2021.

Unfortunately, at a point when marketers are under pressure to rationalize every dollar spent, a new report released today by AppsFlyer has found that UAE organizations are losing significant amounts to mobile app fraud, which in turn has the potential to impact customer base growth and engagement. The company’s 2023 edition of the State of Mobile App Fraud report has found that the install fraud rate detected in UAE campaigns is a 20%.

Read more: Middle East’s financial sector at risk

Diving a bit deeper, AppsFlyer also revealed which industries in the UAE are most impacted by mobile app fraud:

  • Travel companies saw incredibly high fraud rates of 71% and 58% on Android and iOS respectively.
  • Unsurprisingly, finance followed with fraud rates of 61% and 64% on Android and iOS respectively.
  • Shopping placed third with the fraud rate on iOS far outstripping that on Android at 40% compared to 23%.
  • Interestingly fraud rates were notably low (under 3%) for all categories of gaming apps, despite being one of the most popular categories of mobile apps in the UAE

Similarly, a new study from cybersecurity firm Netscout Systems found that, with over one billion websites worldwide, HTTP/HTTPS application-layer attacks have increased by 487% since 2019, with the most significant increase occurring in the second half of 2022. The pro-Russian group Killnet and others that explicitly target websites are responsible for much of the increase. This type of attack preceded the invasion of Ukraine, knocking out critical financial, government, and media sites.

For more on cybersecurity, click here.