Click fraud is a type of fraud that occurs in affiliate marketing when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link. This is done in order to gain an illegitimate profit from the merchant or advertiser. Click fraud can occur in various forms, such as using bots to generate fraudulent clicks. It can also occur when someone clicks on an ad multiple times, when a person is paid by a competitor to click on their ads, or when a person clicks on an ad but does not purchase the item. When a fraudulent click occurs, the merchant or advertiser pays for the click, but does not receive any benefit from the traffic or sale. For example, a competitor of a merchant may pay someone to click on their competitors ads, causing the merchant to pay for the clicks but receive no benefit from them. Similarly, a person may click on an ad multiple times in order to drive up the cost of the ad, while not actually being interested in the product or service being advertised.