Got Scammed £1,256 the day before yesterday

Hi guys,

I got phished on Monday 7th and want to share my story with as many details as I can recall. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes and give me some advice and what to do.

Here is a little background: I have been feeling sick and under a lot of pressure from work recently, and was not thinking straight at all. After what happened I looked back, I feel like there are millions chances I could have stopped everything from happening, somehow I did not and I ended up losing £1,256.

In hindsight, everything started on last Friday, 4th of September, when I received a message about HMRC tax rebate. I did checked my pay slips a week ago and there was some miscalculated income tax. Without second thought, I clicked into the link and put down my personal details and my Monzo bank details.

On 6th of September, I was gonna order some takeaway on deliveroo but decided not. A deliveroo card active check showed up on my Monzo app. I thought it was just a normal check because I was about to pay but decided not to.

On 7th of September, I received a message from MONZO BANK about a suspicious activity on my card. About an hour later there is a call from 020 3873 0620.

The guy on the other side claimed he is a Monzo employee. He knows my name, my Monzo cad details, my address, and somehow the fact that I have a RBS card (I could not recall how did he bring it up but he did tell me I have a RBS card that is compromised as well). I believed in him because he sounded very professional and convincing, and he knows my details including my other RBS account as well.

Here is a timeline of what happened during our 1 hour and 43 minutes call. I tried to give as many details as I could recall.

  • He said my Monzo account is compromised, and there was an attempt from someone in Hertfordshire trying to use my card to make a payment to Aviva. He said there should be a deliveroo card active check. I looked up online while we were talking, there are some scam schemes about Aviva.

  • I started to believe in him and he said there will be an email sent from Monzo, which I should forward it to him immediately, because while we are talking, someone is trying to swipe money from my card. I was panicking and also my boss was sending messages to me about work related stuff. I just want this to be done with so I could finish my work.

  • I forwarded the email to monzoteam@consultant.com. Now think about it, that was him trying to change my email address to his email address and take control of my card. I did not receive any text message from Monzo about it so I assumed he was legit.

  • He then asked me to delete the Monzo app because the security team is upgrading the security features. I don’t know much about cyber security but it does sound fishy to me, I asked how is it possible and then he guaranteed to me that he is trying to help me and this is a top level emergency case, and someone is trying to take my money again. I followed his instruction, deleted the app.

  • He then said the account is now secured and I should transfer my RBS money to my Monzo app, because he is in line with RBS team and RBS team suggested that I should do that. I asked how is this possible? He said did I ever received phishing messages and clicked into the link? I recalled the HMRC message and said yes. He said because I gave away my personal information, both my accounts are compromised. The Monzo account is secured but my RBS account is not.

  • I asked if I could transfer the money to my dad. He said this would cause the money to be lost during transaction, and could endanger my dad’s account. My parents are in different time zone and they work very hard to support me. It was sleeping time for them, I do not wanna disturb them because they both have some levels of heart problem and they are getting old.

  • I still found it fishy and challenged him multiple times (4 times, if I remembered correctly), he kept repeating and ensured me that my account is safe and secured, and I should not worry about anything. He then asked me to double check the number on the back of the Monzo card, it is the same with the caller id, and he is in line with the RBS team.

  • I was just simply exhausted since it was almost 45 minutes into the call. I went to the RBS web chat and the auto-reply there just made me even more anxious because it was difficult to get someone to help me other than an auto-reply algorithm. He kept rushing me to do so, and told me while I was stalling, someone is making a £1,000 bank transfer to an account.

  • I then made the worst decision in my life - I transferred £1,000 to my Monzo account, each transaction of £200. Because there is a limit on my RBS account, I cannot make transactions in a day totaling more than £1,000 a day. He asked me to use a card reader.

  • Mean while, I tried to log in my Monzo account many times and did not work, he said the security team is trying best they can to fix my issues.

  • I do not have a card reader at home and I was gonna take uber to RBS to sort this out. He asked me not to put down my phone and he will put me on hold while I am on my way. I was all dressed up and ready to go, then found out all RBS branches around me are closed due to COVID-19, the nearest one will take 30 minutes on uber and by the time I get there, it will be closed as well.

  • He encouraged me to borrow a card reader from someone around me like my neighbors. I am renting a room in an independent house and every other tenants are students, I asked on the group chat if they have a card reader and no one replied. I asked my land lady, then she found a card reader and gave it to me.

  • I tried to log into my Monzo account and failed, the person told me it is because the security team is taking longer to get all this sorted and I should wait patiently.

  • I registered the card reader and transferred another £100 to my Monzo account. There was £1,870 left and I was just exhausted. I transferred everything remain in one go. The £1,871 did not reach my Monzo account immediate (Thanks god!). He said I can use my Monzo card however I want now and he will contact me again later.

  • I went downstairs to get some takeaway, used my Monzo card since he said I can use it now. I tried to pay for my food then it got declined. He called me again saying he noticed an activity on my card, and asked if it is me or someone else trying to use my card again. I said it was me and asked why it is not working, he said because the security team encountered few problems and they are taking a bit longer. He will keep in touch with me when this is all sorted.

  • Because I know the owner, she let me have my food and just need to pay for it next time I am around. I took the food and took a nap home, feel much more alive. Then I realised something is not right, my mind was literally asking “What just happened?”

I called that number back and the call failed. I then called Monzo, the operator said I probably got phished. I was just devastated as I thought this can never happen to me. My hands were shaking and I asked again, she said yes I got scammed.

  • I sent my selfie with my id as she told, and called again. The operator was very nice and asked me to stay calm, trying not to worry, they will secure my account first and then hand this over to a higher expert. I followed the instruction and get my account secured. From the operator, there was only 57p left in my Monzo account.

  • It was late at night and the Monzo operator said the security team will take look at the case tomorrow as soon as they start working.

  • Then I finally get control on my Monzo account. I transferred about £3,100 to my Monzo account in total, and thanks god only £1,256 get transferred out to another Monzo account. the other £1,871 was on hold between RBS and Monzo.

  • Meanwhile I tried to call RBS to see if that £1,871 is still pending and I can get it back, but no one is picking up, and the web chat is certainly no help.

  • I didn’t sleep much that night even I took some pills to help me. I kept waking up and looking at Monzo in-app chat to see if anyone from the fraud team has reached me. My parents got up and called me, because I left a message to them about I got scammed.

  • Without blaming me or being mad, they were very understanding and trying to comfort me. They said it is okay since I am still young (which I’m not sadly). My dad joked at least it is only 3k not 30k, it is a lot of money yes, but it is something we can afford. The worst thing about this is that Sep 7th was my little brother’s birthday, I ordered him some books to read. I just felt so bad cause I did not use this money to buy presents for him or buy a plane ticket to go home and celebrate with him (I have not gone home for over a year now), I lost it to a shithead fraudster. They told me about how my grandparents was scammed to buy some health products before and ask me to get some sleep so I can work the next day.

  • The next day, I called RBS, the operator managed to get the £1,871 back for me.

  • Around 11 am, Someone from Monzo fraud team reached me asked me some questions about what happened, and asked me to send evidence such as screenshots over.

  • The fraud team person then noted up everything and passed them to the high expert team, because large amount of money was involved. That person said it will take 15 business day for them to process this. Meanwhile I searched for some similar cases on google, and was just glad I am not the only person get tricked and I didn’t lose that much compare to some other victims.

Thank you for reading this lengthy article patiently. As I mentioned, during the call I have challenged the fraudster many times and ask him to explain his instruction and why would I follow him. I also asked if I can hang up and he said no because there are few fraudulent attempts on my account while we are talking. It is best to sold it ASAP.

I thought about everything again and again yesterday, and here are lessons I learned:

  • Be patient! Whenever bank calls you about money, just hang up and call the actual bank! I did not do so as I have experiences of needing to spend 40 minutes to talk to someone from the bank and as he said meanwhile my money is risk of getting stolen.

  • Talk to Someone! When you are facing this kind of situation and feeling anxious, just get a roommate, friend or family to go through this together with you. I did not because my parents are asleep and my roommates are trying to finished this summer dissertations. I was gonna message my friends but he kept rushing me and my boss and subordinates are messaging me about work related stuff. which leads to my next point:

  • Take a deep breath and calm down Don’t get frightened by the fraudster and don’t get rushed by them. Always stay calm and ask yourself again and again on what are you going to do next. I did not because I was caught up in a lot of work, if I could think straight and focus on the fraudster’s phone call, I could easily stop this from happening.

Hope this has been helpful and people can learn from my mistakes. I am extremely lucky to have parents that are so understanding, friends that are supportive and offer me money to get through everything, restaurant owner that asked me to pay next time when I have money.

Now I am just worried that because it has been two days since I got phished, the money is long gone and I won’t be able to get it back. also Monzo did not sign up to the APP code of conduct, it is possible that they will not get a refund for me.


Update from 10th of September

I just received £1,256 credit from Monzo 10 minutes ago! I am surprised how fast this process is as I saw many news on the Sun and Love Money that Monzo took weeks to process this kind of case! Thank you to everyone in the Monzo fraud department!

Hopefully this thread has been helpful to prevent anyone from falling into this kind of scam!

DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR PIN AND ALWAYS LOOK AT YOUR EMAIL! NEVER GET THREATENED AND START PANICKING BY THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE!

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Wow! The nerve of these *****

Do not blame yourself. You’re going to and think what else could you have done, you could have been quicker to this or not followed that, or checked something else. But really try not to.

It’s a high-stress situation. If someone calls and they know all about you, they sound genuine and they say they are trying to help, then it’s human nature for the panic to kick in and logic to run away.

Hopefully Monzo will/RBS will get you all your money back.

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Thank you! I think I am much better now but yesterday was just simply hectic! I am trying to focus on my work today and get what left from yesterday done today. Hopefully it will be alright and Monzo could help me on this :heart:

consultant.com needs taking down.

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With more cases like this I would not be surprised if a 24hr delay on FP payments for new payees is not brought in so banks can easily reverse them or the customer be able to do so in the app.

Hopefully monzo and RBS can reverse it if the money is still there.

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Hope it all works out for you.

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unfortunately it’s a free email service provided by mail.com. Would be helpful it just redirected to mail.com though as it would make it more obvious that the site owner has no real control over who has an email

https://signup.mail.com/#.2068504-stage-calltoaction2-1

No different from gmail.com or hotmail.com really

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mail.com is a spin-off from the GMX ecosystem I believe, which ties in with the ‘abuse’ report email of ‘abuse@gmx.net’ when you do a WHOIS on consultant.com.

I suppose the scamming swines don’t really pay attention to the mail.com T&C’s when they sign up;

“8.2. You agree and warrant that you shall not send mass unsolicited or unwanted electronic mail solicitations; that you shall not use your e-mail address for impermissible or abusive news group postings or excessive or repeated off-topic or commercial postings; that you will not send any form of junk mail; and that you shall not engage in any other form of spamming, spoofing, phishing, or mail bombing. mail.com reserves the right to block mail from any source, including outgoing mail from or ingoing mail to your account, which mail.com believes, in its sole discretion, is being used to send such unsolicited e-mail.”

Time to report the email monzoteam@consultant.com to ‘abuse@gmx.net’…

EDIT: I’ve helped in a very minor way by reporting :point_up_2: that email address to ‘abuse@gmx.net’ - and the more people do the same may help further. Let’s make it harder for these :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: criminals.

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Sorry to hear this. Scammers are very convincing and sound very genuine.

Thankfully I’ve only be called once about fraud and it was genuine about my credit card being used in America.

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Thanks, I have reported the email address as well. It is great to see someone willing to help, even just small thing like that.

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Hey guys just an update! I received £1,256 credit from Monzo today! I am just very surprised that it came in so quickly! The past three days has been just hectic and I did learned a lesson! Hopefully this thread has been helpful to prevent more people falling into this kind of fraud!

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Great news! :partying_face:

Another lesson to learn here is to not stress about the unknown until you have all the facts. Turns out it wasn’t “gone forever” :wink:

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Yup, I have learned other lessons before about always staying calm but recently lost my coolness and calmness because of stress. I guess this didn’t turn out to be an expensive lesson and I am just so grateful Monzo team get it dealt with so quickly!

It’s understandable in that situation :slight_smile: I know it’s easier said than done but you can get tangled up in infinite “what ifs” which doesn’t help anyone and is more importantly bad for your mental health.

Good luck with your studies!

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Thank you! I am so lucky to have supportive friends and family telling me it is okay and it is just something most people experiences at any point in their life!

Thank you for your replies and good luck with your life too!

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This is great news - I’m sure you are very relieved. Thanks for the update :+1:

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Honestly I am so happy now! Thank you for your replies under this thread!

I’m glad you got it back!

It’s nice to hear a success story!

You’ve got your money back, and learned a very important lesson before the course has even begun :+1:

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A good lesson too! Hopefully people got scammed like me can get this solved so smoothly as well!

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