Are Facebook Ads a fraud?

I’ve spend 25$ for a Facebook Ad and Facebook claims that 281 people have clicked the link. But I’ve only received 80 clicks with a referrer from Facebook according to the sites statistics.

The missing clicks

Exhibit A: Facebook Ads Center claiming 281 clicks

As you can see in the picture from the Facebook Ad Centre they claim that 281 people clicked the link. But how comes that both Google Analytics and the built in WordPress site statistics only see 77 / 80 repectively?

Exhibit B: WordPress site statistics claiming 80 clicks/referrals from Facebook
Exhibit C: Google Analytics claiming 77 clicks/referrals from Facebook and Instagram combined

It’s very unlikely that the other 200 missing clicks all used ad blockers, that would be a 71 % ad blocker usage. However this article claims that only 47 % of all internet users use ad-blockers and that would still mean that they could be tracked by the built in statistics of WordPress.

Another option might be that Facebook counts clicks to the facebook post and not all the way thru to the link in the individual post. That would still be disappointing but slightly less fraudulent.

History reconfirmed?

So weirdly enough it’s not the first time that I encounter seemingly bogus Facebook Ads behaviour. A few years ago I tried to promote my Facebook page of my company and paid 15 $ to get likes for the pages. Turns out 99 % of the newly gained likes were all coming from fake profiles. All non-caucasian looking profile pictures with a hometown in a town in Switzerland starting with two A’s (Aarburg). And the people definitely didn’t have European or Swiss names. Despite targeting Swiss people only. Very suspicious.

I in return stopped paying for the outstanding ads money in that case and had a negative balance of some 15 $ for a few years.

Hoping the situation improved and using the fact to have more trackable clicks going to another page I tried again with boosting the Revolut blog post. Yet I was disappointed again. Paying for 281 clicks when there were only 80 is simply fraud in my opinion.

What incentives does Facebook have?

What’s the disadvantage for Facebook incase these are bots clicking ads and pulling out money for paying customers? Well none. Facebook earns directly money for either of these types of frauds. They have therefore literally zero incentives to correct the situation.

I would not be surprised if Facebook had some paid shady company that builds and runs these clickbots and fake profiles to increase their Ads revenue.

Have you made similar experiences? Do you think Facebook Ads is fair and legit? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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