The role and effectiveness of kitemarks in preventing online fraud 

The migration of so many aspects of our lives to digital environments creates numerous opportunities for new fraudulent schemes. Scammers abuse the trust of online users and exploit the difficulty of distinguishing genuine online accounts, websites, services and products from fake ones. To keep people safe online a number of private as well as government run schemes are introducing ‘kitemarks’ – that is, labels or seals – that certify that a particular online service is safe, often on the basis of verification by a trusted third party. Examples include the British Standards institution kitemark certification schemes in the area of digital trust and security and other less regulated trust mark logos such as the customer review rating logos provided by However, little is known about user awareness of, and interactions with, such kitemarks and their effectiveness in preventing fraud. This project seeks to identify kitemark schemes used in the UK and elsewhere, evaluate users’ awareness of them and what might affect consumer interaction with them.

Research team

Prof. Shane Johnson (Co-Investigator)

Dr Lorenzo Pasculli (Co-Investigator)

Dr Manja Nikolovska (Co-Investigator, Researcher)

UCL Dawes Centre for Future Crime

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