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Dvara Research Blog | Are Fraud-awareness Campaigns Effective? Measuring the effectiveness of fraud-awareness campaigns and proposing recommendations for enhancing it

Beni Chugh
Lakshay Narang

Social engineering ploys, where unsuspecting customers are manipulated into authorising fraudulent transactions are a serious customer protection concern. Regulators and financial institutions are investing effort in designing awareness campaigns in the form of TV commercials (TVCs) to raise awareness about fraudsters and their tactics with the objective of reducing customers’ tendency to engage with them. There is also a growing support for using outcome-based surveys (OBS) to test the effectiveness of such TVCs. Simple surveys that gather evidence on reported behaviour fall short of measuring effectiveness given that individuals depart from rational behaviour under the influence of behavioural biases. Consequently, OBS that gather evidence on change in behaviour are better suited to gauge the effectiveness of awareness campaigns.

This study presents the design of an OBS crafted to evaluate the effect that UPI-fraud-awareness campaigns have in reducing individuals’ propensity to engage with fraudulent communication. Leaning on behavioral science and market research literature, this OBS measures the effectiveness of the awareness campaign along 4 dimensions: recall, i.e., the ability of the individual to remember the central message of the campaign, long after watching it, appeal, i.e., the extent to which individuals relate to the campaign, comprehension, i.e., the ease with which individuals understand the central message of the campaign and absorb it, finally, impact, i.e., a decline in individuals’ tendency to engage with suspicious communication (messages, links, apps among others).

Insights from the OBS reveal respondents’ preferences for TVCs with relatable characters and simple messages in a storytelling format. Such TVCs fare better on recall, appeal, and comprehension. The pilot also demonstrates that heightened awareness may not always translate into changed attitude. Awareness campaigns that solely emphasise conveying information or urging the public to improve their behaviour may disregard the inherent irrationality of human behaviour. Additionally, these campaigns often prioritise technical details about an issue rather than promoting self-awareness among their audience. To address this, awareness campaigns can be designed to acquaint viewers with their behavioural biases, which can make them vulnerable to social engineering tactics, thus fostering self-awareness. Moreover, these campaigns can provide guidance on avoiding or mitigating the impact of emotional states (‘hot states’), which would positively influence the emotional aspect of attitudinal change and significantly enhance the effectiveness of the awareness campaigns.

The full policy brief can be accessed here.

Cite this policy brief:


Chugh, B., & Narang, L. (2023). Are Fraud-awareness Campaigns Effective? Retrieved from Dvara Research.


Chugh, Beni and Lakshay Narang. “Are Fraud-awareness Campaigns Effective?” 2023. Dvara Research.


Chugh, Beni, and Lakshay Narang. 2023. “Are Fraud-awareness Campaigns Effective?” Dvara Research.



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