Fear of Online Consumer Identity Theft: Cross-Country Application and Short Scale Development

  • Gianfranco WalshEmail author
  • Edward Shiu
  • Louise Hassan
  • Patrick Hille
  • Ikuo Takahashi


The growing internationalization of electronic commerce demands the establishment of the cross-national validity of theoretical concepts. An important concept in e-commerce is consumers’ fear of online identity theft (FOIT), which impedes consumers’ willingness to engage in online transactions and can negatively affect e-commerce revenues. The present study validates the consumer FOIT scale developed in Germany by Hille et al. (2015) in a cross-cultural setting and proposes an abbreviated version of the scale, which is approximately 35% shorter than the original. Established validation procedures with samples of online consumers from Germany, the United States, and Japan demonstrate the reliability, validity, and cross-national applicability of the short FOIT scale. In particular, this study extends Hille et al. (2015) research by examining and revealing the impact of FOIT on consumers’ prevention-focused responses. This research offers implications for both research and e-commerce managers.


Cross-cultural scale validation Fear of online identity theft Prevention-focused responses E-commerce 



This research was partly funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft); WA 1568/9-1 - AOBJ: 568047.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianfranco Walsh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward Shiu
    • 2
  • Louise Hassan
    • 2
  • Patrick Hille
    • 1
  • Ikuo Takahashi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of General Management & MarketingFriedrich-Schiller University of JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Bangor Business SchoolBangor UniversityWalesUK
  3. 3.Faculty of Business and CommerceKeio UniversityTokyoJapan

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