It is still surprisingly common for marketers to assume that captchas can stop bots from committing various forms of digital fraud, like ad fraud, lead fraud, affiliate fraud, etc. Captchas are those annoying grids that pop up asking you to pick out the fire hydrants, traffic lights, bicycles, and buses. Those are annoying to actual humans, and virtually no deterrent for bots.
This is not even new. In 2013, Business Insider was already reporting on tech that could be used to solve captchas at scale. Today, we see bots solving captchas easily and even hiring low-wage humans to help too. There’s even a helpful YouTube video that shows how it’s done.
Pharming With Humans
The screen shot below shows a Google image search for “chinese bot farms” where racks of mobile devices are connected to power and cooling systems, so that millions of clicks, likes, and shares can be generated