Although advertising networks are taking the threat of click fraud increasingly seriously, the year on year rates continue to rise, it has been claimed.

New figures from Click Forensics have revealed that compared to the same quarter last year, there was a rise in the number of fraudulent online ad clicks, BizReport states.

But the rate did drop from 16.6 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2007 to 16.3 per cent during the first quarter of 2008, the figures reveal.

"Over the past six months or so we’ve seen Google and Yahoo! in particular take the issue of click fraud much more seriously," Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics, told BizReport.

He added that the search engine firms wanted to ensure retailers and advertisers were comfortable when spending money with them and that they got a good service for their money.

The survey found that botnet activity increased during the first quarter of the year, with operators finding new ways to avoid online fraud detection tools.

A map of the threat of click fraud notes that the risk in Britain is relatively low compared to other countries around the world.

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