Ad Spend and Con Men

Mobile Ad Fraud: The Notorious Silent Ripper Of Africa’s Many App-Based Startups

By  |  August 26, 2021

It’s past midnight on Tuesday, June 8, and with exams barely two weeks away, Isaac Jimoh, plans to pull an all-nighter. He is just about to turn the page of a voluminous biochemistry textbook when he casually picks up his phone for a quick, meaningless scroll. But it takes him down a rabbit hole. 

Just as he turns on data connection on his Itel device, he remembers a TV series, Banshee, that a classmate wouldn’t stop talking about the previous day. Schoolwork would have to take the backseat for now, he tells himself. Change of plans: suspend studying, subscribe to a cheap night-time internet plan, download Banshee.

That download exercise proves tedious and tortuous because every time he clicks on anything on the illegal download site his classmate recommended, he is redirected to popular local sports betting sites. Frustrated, he cancels and tries multiple times before he manages to download a few episodes of the show.

“I don’t know why I will click on download and end u...

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