How to Prevent Click Fraud In Hubspot/Gravity Forms

Abisola Tanzako | Feb 26, 2024

How do I deal with click fraud in Hubspot/Gravity Forms?

In digital advertising, click fraud has become a significant challenge for advertisers and publishers. This issue is an ongoing threat to businesses using marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Gravity forms.

These platforms offer crucial tools for campaign management and lead generation, but they’re also vulnerable to fraudulent activities that can quickly consume your resources and skew your data.

In this article, the impact of click fraud on the integration between HubSpot and Gravity forms will be explained, as well as possible countermeasures.

What is Click Fraud?

Click fraud is the malicious act of repeatedly clicking on an ad to deplete the advertiser’s budget or generate income for the publisher. These fraudulent clicks can stem from automated bots, click farms, or rivals seeking to deplete your ad budget.

According to Investopedia, click fraud is illegally clicking on pay-per-click (PPC) ads to increase site revenue or exhaust a company’s advertising budget. Click fraud occurs with pay-per-click advertising and may involve either A person, a computer program, or an automated script posing as a genuine user and clicking on paid search ads without the intention of purchasing something.

Types of Click Fraud

Ad fraud

Ad fraud is a deceptive practice that tricks advertising platforms into mistaking fraudulent network activity for legitimate user behavior, typically for monetary benefits. Publishers often perpetrate click fraud to boost ad clicks on their websites or apps artificially. Ad fraud encompasses various tactics, from bots masquerading as humans to spamming ads with counterfeit engagement, operating click farms, and beyond.

Bot fraud

Bot fraud, or bot-assisted fraud, is a collective term for all kinds of online fraud carried out or aided by harmful bots. These malicious bots, known as scam bots, are specifically programmed to execute these bot fraud attempts. The effectiveness of bot fraud attacks lies in their speed and the sheer number of attempts they can make.

Traditional defenses and standard fraud solutions increasingly fall short of these sophisticated threats. Bot fraud manifests in various forms, including account takeover (ATO), API abuse, content scraping, and SQL injection, which can lead to artificial ad clicks if utilized.

Pixel stuffing

Alternatively known as ad stuffing or ad hiding, this click fraud conceals unauthorized pixels from the end-users. The pixel is so minuscule that it becomes entirely invisible to the naked eye.

Affiliate fraud

Sometimes referred to as ad hijacking, this hijacking happens when an affiliate associate hijacks a brand’s paid advertising space. They do this by bidding higher for a branded keyword and replicating the brand’s ad in the search results, complete with similar descriptions and an identical display URL. This form of click fraud occurs when the clicks on an affiliate link are synthetically produced.

Competitor Click Fraud

Competitor click fraud refers to rivals repeatedly clicking on your Google advertisements. These rivals could be business employees, individuals employed for this purpose, or automated bots designed to impair your ad performance. Repeated clicking on your ads by competitors can rapidly exhaust your advertising budget.

CPA fraud

Cost-per-action fraud is a form of click fraud where fraudulent entities exploit the mobile attribution mechanism to earn commissions for actions not performed by users. These fabricated actions, including post-app installation activities, deplete advertisers’ marketing budgets. The fraudulent practices can manifest in various ways, such as the deployment of bots, click-injection techniques, and device spoofing. These tactics misrepresent user engagement and unfairly profit at the expense of legitimate advertisers.


Clickjacking is a deceptive practice where a user is lured into clicking something different than what they intended. Rather than taking over ad space, fraudulent advertisers can manipulate the clicks on ads using a similar method. In this situation, users are redirected through another fraudulent website when they click on an ad on a legitimate publisher’s site. This fraudulent site collects the payout for the click before the user is finally directed to the advertiser’s site. This tactic allows the fraudulent party to profit at the expense of both the user and the legitimate advertiser.

Impression Laundering

This process, called domain spoofing, entails publishers with high-traffic websites containing questionable or illicit content redirecting ads through a legitimate site. This click fraud generates counterfeit ad views, defrauding advertisers and networks operating on Cost Per Mille (CPM) media. From the advertiser’s perspective, their ad appears to be displayed on a ‘trusted’ or relevant site. However, through a clever deception, the publisher successfully rerouted the ad to their site, thereby collecting the payout for impressions.

Understanding HubSpot and Gravity Forms

HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform that scales with businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or part of a large enterprise, HubSpot provides essential marketing, sales, customer service, operations, and content management features.

It helps attract the right audience, convert visitors into customers, and execute inbound marketing campaigns at scale. Additionally, HubSpot synchronizes customer data across teams and devices, ensuring automatic and instant updates. This platform prioritizes customer experience and is designed to accelerate business growth by putting customers first.

Gravity, also known as Gravity Forms, is a WordPress plugin for creating advanced forms. It provides a range of pre-made form templates that can be personalized or created from the beginning.

The form editor features a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface and column controls for precise field placement. Users can easily edit field settings, add descriptions, and designate fields as required. When integrated with HubSpot, Gravity Forms enables a seamless connection between forms and the HubSpot dashboard, allowing automatic form data transmission.

Can click fraud occur on Hubspot and Gravity Forms?

Click fraud in HubSpot/Gravity involves deceptive practices where a person or bot manipulates the platform into perceiving a higher level of interaction than what truly exists. This manipulation can be executed through various methods, such as;

  • Email scams

Click fraud on platforms like HubSpot and Gravity can be perpetrated through email scams. When activated, these scams typically involve phishing emails directing the user to a specific counterfeit HubSpot/Gravity login page, primarily to steal the user’s login credentials.

  • Fraudulent form submissions

Form submission fraud is a type of online fraud that involves submitting fake or malicious information through web forms, such as contact forms, surveys, or registration forms. These submissions waste your time and resources and compromise your data security.

Fraudulent form submissions are often used for

  • Spamming: Sending unsolicited or irrelevant messages or links through web forms, often for advertising or phishing purposes. This can clutter your inbox, waste time, and expose you to security risks.
  • Scraping: using web forms to extract data from your website, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or product information. This can violate your privacy, damage your reputation, or harm your business.
  • Hacking: This is when someone exploits vulnerabilities in your web forms to inject malicious code or commands into your website, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting. This can compromise your website’s functionality, security, or content.

Impact of Click Fraud on HubSpot/Gravity Forms

Click fraud can profoundly impact the effectiveness of your forms within HubSpot/Gravity. Here’s how:

  1. Wasted resources: Fake form submissions are fake leads. This means for every fake submission received on your forms, a portion of your resources that should be utilized in getting real leads is used up by these fake submissions that are not interested in the products or services you offer. The time and money spent in putting up forms online are wasted when your forms get invaded by fake submissions.
  2. Distorted Performance Metric: Distorted performance metrics are another impact click fraud can have on Hubspot and Gravity in digital advertising. Invalid clicks and fake submissions can skew performance data. This distortion affects the accuracy of your data and complicates the process of identifying successful advertising channels and strategies.
  3. Harm to brand reputation: The damage to a brand’s reputation is also a significant concern regarding click fraud in Hubspot. When fraudulent submissions occur on your forms, it can harm your brand’s image. This is because the integrity of your marketing is compromised.

How to minimize Click Fraud in HubSpot/Gravity

To protect your HubSpot/Gravity campaigns from click fraud, consider the following strategies:

  1. Monitor your form traffic: It’s crucial to be very vigilant in monitoring your form traffic when managing digital advertising campaigns. By closely monitoring your ad traffic, you can identify any unusual patterns or sudden increases in submissions. These are potentially red flags indicating fraudulent activity, such as fake submissions. Early detection of these malicious activities allows for timely intervention.
  2. Implement ClickPatrol Hubspot/gravity Form Protection: ClickPatrol Form Protection is a powerful and easy-to-use feature that can help you prevent fraudulent form submissions with HubSpot. This feature allows you to integrate ClickPatrol with your HubSpot/gravity forms and automatically block any submissions that come from suspicious sources, such as proxy servers, VPNs, or known fraudsters. You can also customize the protection settings and view the reports and analytics of your form performance.
  3. Block suspicious IP addresses: It’s essential to take proactive measures in your digital advertising strategy, such as blocking suspicious IP addresses. If you observe a pattern of repeated invalid submissions originating from specific IP addresses, you should consider blocking these addresses. This action can serve as a significant deterrent to minimize further fraudulent activity.
  4. CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA tasks: Adding CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA tasks on your forms can help differentiate between human and automated submissions. reCAPTCHA tasks require users to complete a task, such as identifying objects in images, before they can submit the form. This can significantly lower fake submissions, however, it is time-consuming and can also discourage actual users from completing your forms.
  5. Hidden Fields: Add hidden fields to your forms that are not visible to users but are detectable by bots. If the hidden field is filled out, it’s likely a bot submission. Legitimate users won’t see or fill out these fields.
  6. Time Delays: Set minimum and maximum time limits for form submissions. If a form is submitted too quickly, it may be flagged as suspicious. On the other hand, if a form takes an unusually long time to complete, it could also be a red flag.
  7. Email Verification: Require users to verify their email addresses by sending a confirmation link. This adds an extra step for users and helps ensure that the provided email addresses are valid. This can also turn away audiences who need to be patient to check and confirm verification links.
  8. Form Validation: Implement strict validation rules for form fields. For example, ensure that phone numbers are in the correct format, and email addresses contain “@” and “.” symbols. This won’t stop all fake submissions but can filter out some automated attempts.
  9. Custom JavaScript: Add custom JavaScript to your forms to detect automated behavior. For example, you can use JavaScript to check the time taken to fill out the form or detect if the form is being filled out by a bot.


Q. 1 What is click fraud?

Click fraud is the malicious act of repeatedly clicking on an ad to deplete the advertiser’s budget or generate income for the publisher. Automated bots carry out these fraudulent clicks, click farms, or rivals seeking to waste your ad budget.

Q. 2 Why is click fraud a problem?

Click fraud is a problem because it depletes advertisers’ budgets without providing any return on investment. It skews data, making it challenging to measure genuine customer engagement and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, leading to significant financial losses and ineffective marketing strategies.

Q. 3 Can click fraud occur on HubSpot/Gravity Forms?

Yes, click fraud is a pervasive issue that can occur on any digital advertising platform, including marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Gravity. Regardless of the platform’s security measures, they are not excluded from fraudulent activities such as click fraud, and fake form submissions which can lead to skewed data and wasted advertising budgets.

Q. 4 How can click fraud impact my HubSpot/Gravity Form campaigns?

The impact click fraud can have on your Hubspot/Gravity includes higher advertising costs, inaccurate performance metrics, damage to your brand reputation, and threats to your website security.

Q. 5 How can I prevent click fraud in HubSpot/Gravity Forms?

You can prevent click fraud by monitoring form traffic, implementing ClicPatrol form protection, blocking suspicious IP addresses, and using strong passwords.


Click fraud is a crucial issue across various digital marketing activities, affecting any link – organic, paid search, social media, in-app promotion, or other digital marketing initiatives. If you use HubSpot to create and manage online forms for your website, you may wonder how to protect them from fraudulent submissions. Properly monitoring your forms and implementing the ClickPatrol form protection can save you time and resources when dealing with forms in Hubspot/gravity.

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