Scam Identification Ability (Pilot)

Last registered on July 17, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Scam Identification Ability (Pilot)
Initial registration date
January 14, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 19, 2022, 4:56 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 17, 2023, 10:26 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

RWTH Aachen University and University of Essex

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance
PI Affiliation
University of Essex
PI Affiliation
Aix-Marseille University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The recent expansion in digital financial service (DFS) and related technologies in developing countries has opened the door to many issues related to consumer protection, including fraud. Fraud creates direct costs for affected consumers and can erode trust in specific providers or entire markets. The project focuses on phone scams, the most prevalent form of fraud related to DFS in Kenya. Using mixed methods, we develop a measure of scam identification ability (SIA) and implement in a large-scale online survey in Kenya.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Cahlíková, Jana et al. 2023. "Scam Identification Ability (Pilot)." AEA RCT Registry. July 17.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Scam identification ability (SIA), confidence in SIA
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
SIA: share of correctly identified messages; confidence: average confidence rating

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In a cross-randomized, 2x2 design, we vary whether participants receive 1) information about how to identify scams and 2) incentives for correctly identifying scams. The control group receives neither information nor incentives.
Experimental Design Details
The measure of SIA consists of 12 example messages (8 scams and 4 non-scams) based on common scam messages in Kenya. Survey participants will be asked for each message whether they believe it is scam and how confident they are in their assessment.
We will test the causal effect of information about how to spot scams on SIA and confidence in this ability, which will help us to gauge the potential effects of an educational/information campaign on the SIA and related confidence. Specifically, the SIA measure consists of two independent parts (with 6 messages in each part), which will be presented to participants in a random order. A randomly selected half will receive information in between the two parts. This will allow us to i) evaluate the effects of information on SIA and related confidence, ii) assess the test-retest reliability of the measure, and iii) obtain input for power calculations for the follow-up RCT.
An additional, cross-randomized treatment will assess whether paying incentives for correct answers enhances SIA and how incentives interact with information. 50% of the sample will be allocated to the incentives treatment in which participants earn Ksh 10 for each correctly classified message.

Randomization Method
Randomization within Qualtrics
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1000 survey respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
i) ca. 250 information treatment,
ii) ca. 250 incentives,
iii) ca. 250 information treatment + incentives,
iv) ca. 250 control group: neither information treatment nor incentives
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Essex, Ethics Sub Committee 1
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
IPA Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB # 3896
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-Analysis Plan incl. Survey Instrument

MD5: 20b69a7c7e77bc8628d325316db3361a

SHA1: 4e98bea47d8e964774f3b574df6b55a309156df1

Uploaded At: January 25, 2022


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials