Fraud prevention stakeholders’ use of social media to prevent and reduce fraud


Tackling fraud is a complex matter involving a multi-stakeholder approach and requiring a holistic understanding of how it is being committed and the ways in which it is evolving. Crime prevention stakeholders, such as law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and other government bodies worldwide commonly use verified social media accounts to communicate with the public. However, little is known about crime prevention stakeholders’ use of social media for the prevention of specific crimes such as fraud, their interaction with the public on these platforms, and the value of the information shared by the public.

This project examines ‘what works’ in terms of social media outreach in fraud prevention by fraud and crime prevention stakeholders and how to improve it. It also evaluates the types of content social media users post when interacting with fraud prevention bodies online. This is to help understand how to better tailor fraud campaigns, but also to assess the value of posted information in terms of our understanding of the contemporary methods fraudsters use.


The project adopts a mixed methods approach applying qualitative and quantitative techniques to a large X (formerly Twitter) dataset containing posts by UK fraud prevention bodies and their users, and semi-structured interviews with experts in social media engagement and crime prevention.

The findings of this project will be used to develop guidance on how the police and other crime reduction stakeholders might better use X (and potentially other social media networks) to prevent fraud. The data collected and findings generated will also feed into the project ‘Identifying data sources and developing AI-based solutions for online fraud’ being conducted at the Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL, also funded by the Dawes Trust.

Research team

Dr Manja Nikolovska (Principal investigator)

Prof Shane Johnson (Co-investigator, Advisor)

Get in touch

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