As an external PhD candidate I focus on the question how consumers identify the veracity of online consumer reviews on platforms like amazon and
Simultanously, I work as a research associate at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany where I conduct research on the topic of fake review detection, social engineering and phishing. Additionally, I supervise students during their theses and as a teaching assisstant support my professors in supervising student groups.


The continued digitization of business and private life also brings cybercriminals to the online world. One of the tactics of online frauds are fake consumer reviews on shopping platforms, such as Amazon, to either promote or demote a product. While there is much research focused on detection algorithms, these are not 100% accurate, which leaves still a portion of fake reviews to be identified by the consumer. However, only little research is focused on this perspective, consequently, interventions in detecting fake reviews lack scientific knowledge. To close this gap, my PhD project is about the detection of fake online reviews from the consumers perspective. The project focuses on which detection cues are used by consumers to detect fake user reviews, how these cues to veracity are processed by consumers once identified and which protective measures consumers use against fake user reviews.

Other contributions

Walther, M., Jakobi, T., Watson, S. J., & Stevens, G. (2023). A systematic literature review about the consumersÔÇÖ side of fake review detectionÔÇôWhich cues do consumers use to determine the veracity of online user reviews?.┬áComputers in Human Behavior Reports, 100278.

Walther, M., Petrov, P., Smith, R., Young, D., de Vries, P. W., & Stel, M. (2022). Emojis in Deceptive Online Communication: The Frequency and Type of Emoji in Deceptive and NonDeceptive Online Messages. The Open Psychology Journal, 15(1).

Stevens, G., Boden, A., Alizadeh, F., Jakobi, T., Walther, M., & Kr├╝ger, J. (2022) Wie gehen Verbraucher*innen mit Onlinebetrug um? ÔÇô Eine Literatur├╝bersicht. In T.-G. R├╝diger & P. S. Bayerl (Eds.), Handbuch CyberkriminologieÔÇöBand 2: Cybervictimologie. Springer.

Spithoven, R., Van Houten & Walther, M. (2020). Cyberweerbaarheid. Resultaten van studentonderzoek naar het vergroten van de weerbaarheid van diverse doelgroepen tegen verschillende vormen van cybercriminaliteit. Deventer: Saxion, Lectoraat Maatschappelijke Veiligheid (Onderzoeksrapport)

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