Microsoft Investigators Uncover Emerging Form of Click Fraud

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Microsoft Corp. has filed two lawsuits this week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington detailing evidence of an emerging form of click fraud in online advertising the company has dubbed “click laundering.” One lawsuit is a John Doe suit alleging that unidentified defendants engaged in this activity; the other lawsuit names Web publisher RedOrbit Inc. and its president, Eric Ralls, as defendants. Click laundering, a previously unknown form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising fraud, was uncovered by Microsoft investigators following dramatic and irregular growth in click traffic on two sites within its Microsoft adCenter network. Investigators believe that had the click laundering scheme gone undetected, the perpetrators could have defrauded advertisers of hundreds of thousands of dollars...

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