Scam attempt but from a Monzo phone number (spoof?)

Hi there,

Within the last hour I received a call from a woman trying to scam me. I instantly suspected her based on her tone (she seemed extremely fed up!) and hung up shortly after, however what almost got me to believe her story was that at the same time I received a text from +44 800 802 1281 - which is the number on the back of my Monzo card. She told me to check the number on the back of my Monzo card and it will match the number the text came from - which it did.
The scammer was calling me at the time from a very similar number - 0800 802 1218 (last two digits switched when comparing to the monzo number).

What’s confusing me is how this text came from a Monzo number? I understand you can spoof numbers, but I didn’t realise you can spoof active, registered phone numbers? Is this possible and the way they have managed to make a text seem like its coming from an official Monzo number?

I also just wanted to share the scam phone number (0800 802 1218) Incase anyone else gets a call from this number.


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I’m not 100% sure how it’s done, but it is possible to spoof registered active numbers. My dad (who’s a bit paranoid about people hacking into his phone etc) showed me how it was done. I’m not 100% sure what he did with his phone, but managed to spoof a phone call. So the whole caller ID thing was my mum, but I could physically see him in front of me calling me. I’m sure it’s possible to spoof texts in a similar way.
In this situation, and always if you get a call from Monzo (or any other bank etc) that isnt pre arranged and known about, hang up and call them yourself and explain, and apologise if they say it was them.
I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that number in case they call me; thanks for that!

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Spoofing numbers is trivially easy.

Simplest thing to remember is that Monzo will not phone you out of the blue. If you get an unexpected phone call from ‘Monzo’, just hang up, don’t engage.


And even if Monzo were to phone you out of the blue, they will have no issue if you tell them you’re going to hang up and call them back on the number on the back of the card.

Scammers likely will, real banks will not.


I’m not sure there would be much point in spoofing inactive numbers.

I’m really sorry this happened to you :pensive:

Even if the number were the same, we would never call you out of the blue!

Monzo would only ever call you first if it was prearranged :phone:


Well yes, if you do a google search for a number it generally comes up if the number has been used for scamming on forums etc. I would assume a way to circumvent this would be to regularly spoof inactive numbers so you’re constantly calling people from new, unused numbers.

It’s easy to see how you can be pressured into moving money.
It’s so precious to us.

I once had a card company call me out of the blue about fraud. He provided his name and I called the bank from a different phone and it was genuine. I just wasn’t happy in the first call to talk about my money!


Thank you so much for this! I have just received that call. I put the number into google and your post came up. As soon as I confront them as being fraudulent they hung up the phone. It was scary how much personal information they had gathered on me to try and convince me it was the real deal. Thanks again for your post. Saved me!


9 posts were split to a new topic: Removed Posts February 2021

Thanks everyone for pointing out the thing that just happened :eyes:

I’ve removed the offending! (And the posts around it, because they wouldn’t make sense otherwise).


If it happens again, just @ me and I’ll fix ASAP if I’m online.

Edit: I think flags take longer to resolve - messaging or @-ing is the best way to get a quick response from me, @SouthseaOne, other Coral Crew or the Monzo team. (Oh, the @ Coral-Crew tag still doesn’t work for me, so don’t rely on that!)


Just wondering why you thought a bank would ring you up? It is well known banks would never ring you up (unless you were notified before).

HSBC’s genuine fraud department has rung me up before.

A man with a strong Indian accent called me out of the blue, identified himself as being from HSBC and told me that my account had been frozen and I needed to verify my identity with him to get everything unblocked… now I don’t like to think that I’m a prejudiced person, but I was 99% certain this was a scam.

Called up HSBC’s official number and was told it was real and my account had indeed been frozen by their fraud team (mistakenly). Given how rife phishing call scams are at the moment, I think it’s absurd how (some) banks still follow the practice of calling up customers and requesting sensitive info… when that’s in direct contradiction with basic security advice!

That is absolutely crazy to me!

If I ever received a call like that my reaction would be: “hahahhahaha k bye”


Glad it helped, Neil :slight_smile:

That was mine too haha!

I was in town at the time of the first call so I thought that I’d actually visit the local HSBC branch and check with them since it’d be the safest/easiest thing to do, but the staff there said they couldn’t help me and I needed to deal with the fraud team in India (whom I’d hung up on earlier)!

You can’t assume that people will be aware of “well known” things as a security measure though. For a start “being aware” is completely subjective and, as people have pointed out, different banks and businesses have different methods and practices - some do and some dont call, some do and some dont text etc.

I dont think there is anything wrong with asking/pointing out things and then letting people help out or gain information (as @NeilS has done) via the official forum, rather than assuming everyone just knows the “well know things”.

Bet that was an awkward phone call,

“Sorry I hung up on you folks earlier…”

Hope it was nothing too sinister if the account was frozen in error!

They took it surprisingly well lol

And the account freeze was triggered by a purchase of Bitcoin I had fairly recently made (so perfectly understandable considering this was quite a few years ago). Turned out it had never actually gone though (they’d blocked the payment), and I never bothered going back and redoing my purchase… which really sucks considering the value that purchase would’ve had now!!