Click Fraud Gets Smarter

Internet ad-traffic scams could be ripping off as much as $1 billion annually. Are Web companies like Google doing enough to foil them?

Web consultant Greg Boser has an ingenious method for sending loads of traffic to clients' Internet sites. Last month he began using a software program known as a clickbot to create the impression that users from around the world were visiting sites by way of ads strategically placed alongside Google search results. The trouble is, all the clicks are fake. And because Google charges advertisers on a per-click basis, the extra traffic could mean sky-high bills for Boser's clients.

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