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Gambling fraud and Malvertising in Brazil in Q3 2023

By a.quiroga

November 15, 2023

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After our latest AdSecure Violations Report for Q3 2023, in this article we delve into Gambling fraud and Malvertising in Brazil. Brazil is third in the world for Sports online Gambling, with 42.5 million unique users on Sports Betting websites alone, according to Euronews. In fact, the online Gambling and Sports Betting market in Brazil is so prolific that its revenue is projected to reach €1.49bn in 2023, according to Statista. This also sadly means that this is an especially attractive industry for malvertisers and cybercriminals, who expose the billions of end users who enjoy online gambling to bad quality or unsafe ads containing scams such as Phishing, Ransomware or Malicious URLs - According to AdSecure’s scans for Q3 2023, Brazil is the 6th country within the top 10 GEOs to experience the largest volumes of online threat detections, reporting 5.4% of all Malvertising attempts globally! 

The top 10 violations detected in Brazil across all categories in Q3 2023 were:

Landing-page-error - 23.10% (User Experience)
Suspicious-tld - 22.10% (User Advisory)
Ssl-non-compliant - 18.50% (User Security)
Back-button-hijack - 12.30% (User Experience)
Javascript-dialog-on-entry - 8.50% (User Experience)
Unsafe-content-adult - 4.80% (User Advisory)
Malicious-url-virustotal - 3.10% (User Security)
Threat-intelligence - 2.90% (User Advisory)
Ad-crypto - 2.50% (User Advisory)
Permission-notification - 2.20% (User Experience)

Brazil Gambling scams in numbers: Top 5 Malvertising detection increases in Brazil in Q3 2023

This past September 2023 Brazil's lower house passed a new Sports Betting bill which aims to regulate online Sports Betting in order to avoid Gambling fraud and Malvertising in Brazil. To some, this bill comes slightly too late, with Brazil’s online Gambling and Sports Betting industry having remained unregulated and a breeding ground for Malvertising scams for years now - As Cision News declares, in Brazil there are an abundant number of fraudulent Gambling Sites, plagued with Malvertising scams designed to steal end users bets and deposit money! In Q3 2023, AdSecure has registered huge increases of Malvertising scams for this GEO. Here are the top 5 Malvertising detection increases in Brazil in Q3 2023:

+426.40% increase in Auto-redirect-app-market

The first Malvertising detection increase in Brazil in Q3 2023 is Auto-redirect-app-market. This User Experience detection uses a script that causes a Publisher site to break out of any frames “framing" it, resulting in automatically redirecting end users to the App Store. This means that the end user could end up being redirected to a fraudulent Gambling app, or other scam applications designed with the goal of making them purchase or download unwanted, non-compliant and sometimes dangerous software that could compromise their device’s security!

Malvertising insight: According to Statista, 98 percent of Brazilian end users have answered with “Smartphone" to their survey on "Most used consumer electronics". Which explains why this violation is sky-rocketing in Q3 2023! Make sure to protect your website or online business against this Mobile based scam with AdSecure’s solutions!

+341.30% increase in Browser-locker

Browser-locker is a highly annoying and dangerous User Security detection which has seen a huge Malvertising activity increase in Q3 2023, not only in Brazil, but worldwide! Browser Locker detections use a script to disable end users from closing the browser. All attempts will result in a warning message box (Javascript alerts). It keeps the end user’s device locked in place and can use a fake reason such as loss of user data or files to ask them to pay in order to unlock it.

Malvertising insight: AdSecure has helped many clients detect and stop Browser Locker Malvertising scams, check out our Client Case Study where AdSecure helped Traffic Factory achieve a 95% decrease in Browser Locker attacks.

+133.90% increase in Uncommon-protocols 

Another User Experience detection. Normally computers use common communication protocols such as TCP/IP, DHCP, DNS, and HTTP. In some cases, communication may involve an uncommon protocol that can be used to activate undesirable actions like automatically opening an unwanted app or launching a Skype call - such actions heavily impact the user experience.

Malvertising insight: Whilst not particularly dangerous, it can be very annoying for the end user to land on a website plagued with Uncommon Protocols problems and have different apps and programs in their device open randomly. Which could lead to the end user deciding to click off and not visit said website in the future, or even report it! Leading to brand safety issues and with Google.

+103.60% increase in Scareware 

Scareware is a User Security violation which can be very shocking to end users. Scareware are ads that claim the end user’s device is infected with a virus. They can even use the names of well-known companies that specialize in computer software to gain the end user’s trust to then actually infect their computer! The pop-up advertisements aim to mimic genuine warning alerts generated by computer security software. The aim is to get end users to download useless anti-virus programs that can also contain many more pieces of software that can harm the device as well as trying to extract personal data from end users' devices.

Malvertising insight: Brazil is a Tier 3 country, which means that end users tend to have devices that are older or less optimized. This makes scam tactics such as Scareware especially powerful in this GEO, and even more when we are talking about online Sports Betting and Gambling! Since, as discussed above, Brazil’s Gambling industry has not been regulated up until very recently, with Gambling fraud and Malvertising in Brazil skyrocketing in recent months - Then, end users are more likely to react to this online threat, being tricked into downloading what they are presented with, hoping to protect their devices!

+ 98.50% increase of Ad-crypto 

The last but not least Malvertising detection increase in Brazil in Q3 2023 is Ad-crypto. Crypto violations in Brazil are important to account for, and as cryptocurrency advertising has been regulated by more and more countries, AdSecure wants to be a step ahead of the game with the industry standard and protect end users from being exposed to misleading or non-compliant cryptocurrency promotions. When there are crypto ads detected on ad creatives or landing pages, the ads will be flagged and AdSecure's users will be informed in real-time so they can proceed with caution.

Malvertising insight: According to Bloomberg, Brazil has ranked very high in crypto adoption in recent years, making the Brazilian crypto market one of the largest in Latin America for crypto trading. The country has seen a 30-fold increase in the number of people trading crypto since 2020, according to the Brazilian Tax Authority. Brazilian end users are increasingly more likely to purchase Crypto instead of US dollars to hedge against inflation and devaluation. This makes Crypto violations in Brazil such as Ad-crypto and Drive-by mining especially dangerous in this GEO!

IAB Standards Violations in Brazil

Aligning with the IAB Standards is important to provide the best possible user experience when browsing a website, leading to improved website performance thus increased engagement and revenues. Instead, presenting ads that aren’t aligned with Industry Standards or are bad quality provide an awkward and annoying website browsing experience, making end users less likely to click on the ad, affecting Publisher eCPMs - And again, leading them to click off the website and potentially never return! Also, Google can penalize or block websites that do not abide by certain weight and quality standards. Here are the top 4 IAB Standards Violations in Brazil:

37.1% IAB detections were Iab-ad-dimensions: First one of the top IAB Standards Violations in Brazil is Iab-ad-dimensions. The IAB recommends that the ad dimension should be in the range of 100x200 - 150x300 to ensure that ads display well across devices and browsers. This detection will flag ads that are not compliant with the IAB Standards in terms of ad dimension.

30.3% were Iab-ad-compression: To optimize the file size for delivery of an ad to a browser, the assets within the ad should be delivered in a compressed format such as gzip. This detection will flag ads that are not compliant with the IAB standards within this category, which means they are not delivered in a compressed format.

25.1% detections were Iab-ad-weight: Ad weight is the total size of all the ad assets being delivered to the browser at a given phase. This detection will flag ads that are not compliant with the IAB standards in terms of ad weight (initial load and sub-load). IAB recommends an ad size with an initial load of maximum 50KB and a sub-load of maximum 100KB.

7.5% were Iab-ad-request-count: Ads consist of multiple resources and the number of requests made to fetch them has a significant impact on the load performance of the ad as well as on the page where it will be displayed. This detection will flag ads that are not compliant with the IAB standards in terms of ad request count. IAB recommends a maximum of 10 requests.

Use AdSecure’s IAB Standards detection tool to scan ads and verify that they are fully compliant with Google and the IAB and protect your online business against Malvertising scams and IAB Standards violations! If you are looking to protect your online business against Gambling fraud and Malvertising in Brazil or in any other GEO, AdSecure's Malvertising Prevention and Ad Quality Solution is the perfect resource for you, offering 360 tools to protect Publishers, Ad Networks and end users alike against online threats. Get in touch now to find out more or why not Sign Up now to test out our platform for free with our Free Trial?

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