Fraudulent account

(Nick ) #1

How easy would it be to open a Monzo account with a false name and address? Obviously i’m not looking to do that, but given this is a whole new way of banking, what steps do Monzo take to ensure customers are who they say they are? Discuss…

(Andre Borie) #2

I believe they will use CRAs to try and validate the information; if the CRAs say it’s all good then they let you through, otherwise they hold it for manual review and might ask for more information.

I’ve actually brought this up before, the idea of “training” CRAs by opening utility accounts (who don’t really check nor care about your identity) under a fake identity, in order to then use that to pass KYC at Monzo or an equivalent bank: Credit Referencing Agencies - are they a necessary evil?


Nothing’s impossible but I don’t see it as any more risky than I high street bank

(Andre Borie) #4

I disagree, going into a legacy bank branch in person is much more risky than doing it online. The risk of doing it online is zero if caught, where as if in-branch staff are suspicious they could quietly call the police and catch you that way.


I was referring to the risk of fraudsters managing to open an account online, not the risk of prosecution


:rofl: Sure! Not gonna happen!

Also, the risk doing it online is not 0. Few criminals have perfect OpSec, and you must provide some sort of name and address during signup - that’s a pretty good starting point for any potential investigation.

Finally, Monzo wanted to see my passport, so it’s not just CRAs signing off.

(Andre Borie) #7

I was referring to the risk of fraudsters managing to open an account online

Even if we only talk about the risk (for the bank) of having fraudsters open accounts, I’d say the risk for fintech banks is much higher just because they allow you to open accounts online, where as pretty much every legacy bank requires to go in branch (their “online account opening” is often bullshit and still involves a trip to the branch at some point of the process).

(Andre Borie) #8

:rofl: Sure! Not gonna happen!

Maybe, maybe not, I haven’t done this so can’t vouch for it, but personally if I was a fraudster I would definitely not do anything in person, the risk is just too high IMO.

and you must provide some sort of name and address during signup

How is that checked? We assume all the info provided (including the source IP, etc) is fake and can’t be linked back to the actual perpetrator.

Finally, Monzo wanted to see my passport, so it’s not just CRAs signing off.

Again, how is that checked? I’m assuming here that the passport photo is faked. My guess is that the CRAs are used to authenticate the passport, and thus are potentially vulnerable to being trained with bad data beforehand.

(Danny) #9

You have to do a video clip so unless you can fake that I think it would be hard


If the photo Id was fake, it would match

But then you’re giving them a video of you committing fraud

(Kevyn) #11

As I mentioned in a previous thread (to you I think). CRA’s don’t check the passports, banks check passports via the UK government Passport Validation Service.

(Andre Borie) #12

Well I think just the act of giving a fake name and address (given the obviously criminal intent discussed here) is already an offence so the video is the least of your worries I think. :joy:

(Andre Borie) #13

Only for UK passports though. Fake any other country’s passport and you’ll be good to go.


Exactly. And foreign passports/IDs (at least sometimes) via embassies.

No, I’m not assuming this. But I am assuming that the information provided will be a good starting point to figure out who you really are. It’s called investigating.

(Andre Borie) #15

And foreign passports/IDs (at least sometimes) via embassies.

Is that an automated process though? Given the account opening is often near-instant (at least it was for me), there is still possibility for a lot of fraud to occur, even if the account is eventually closed after a week once the results of the passport check come back.

(Caspar Aremi) #16

Most high street banks let you open accounts online, and it’s not been reported as being a massive issue for them. If someone was trying to open an account fraudulently they’d likely to do it online.

But Monzo do the same checks every other bank does, which are much more stringent than they used to be (I remember walking into a bank and leaving with a new account set up and giving them nothing more than my name, address and date of birth around twenty years ago).

(Hugh Wells) #17

I’m afraid we aren’t able to discuss our fraud prevention and KYC/AML and I don’t think this discussion is appropriate for a public forum.

I will lock this thread now, if anyone has any specific concerns then please feel free to reach out to me or the team directly :+1:

(Hugh Wells) #18