Scam warning!

Just had a call from someone claiming to be from Monzo, saying I had a fraudulent transaction. He ‘proved’ he was from Monzo by having calling from the same number as the official Monzo number on the back of my card(spoofing the caller ID). He then proceeded to try to get me to verify my identity by asking me security questions. When I refused to answer what my date of birth was he tried to prove his legitimacy by telling me my DOB (but had it wrong by nearly 2 decades!). He then told me my postcode (which he had correct) & part of my account number.

Evidently I’ve been victim to a phishing scam somewhere along the line - I told him to call me back in 30 mins and in the meantime called monzos customer support and verified that I had indeed not been contacted by them!!

He eventually called me back!!! I played along until he asked my DOB at which I said 1922, to which he began to question my motivations haha. I let him know what an awful thing it was that he was doing & told him to stop at which he hung up :sob:

Please please please be careful - people can be very very convincing!

It never hurts to hang up & check with customer service if a call is official, be on your guard!

Also thanks to the lovely person in customer service who helped verify that they hadn’t called me :blush::blush:

P.s. the scammer called me “sir” about every two seconds, that might be a warning flag too

20 Likes

Do you mean he was number spoofing, or that you hung up and ‘called’ the number and he ‘answered’ again?

Either way, glad you kept your wits about you and didn’t get caught out.

2 Likes

He was number spoofing! I’ll update the post to reflect that

Monzo will never call you like this

Unfortunately scams like this are common with all banks and people fall for them :cry:

4 Likes

Thanks for raising this, Pip. I’ve let our security team know.

7 Likes

Thanks - they had my account number (or part of it), a partially correct DOB (date & month correct) and a correct postcode.

It’s so horrible to think of others being caught by this

2 Likes

This is why I never answer the phone to a number I don’t recognise.

The most frustrating part of telephone-banking type calls, is that there’s no legitimate way for the bank to prove to you that they are the bank.

In the past, I’ve had one or two (Admittedly return calls) from banks when they are like, “so we just need you to verify your identity”. But you called me. And you could be anyone… So… No.

Best advice: If you get a call from someone claiming to be the bank; call them back on the number on your card.

Question for Monzo; if Monzo do ever need to call the user, how does that process of security work?

3 Likes

Me neither. I now use the iOS 13 feature that sends all calls from numbers not in my contacts to voicemail.

2 Likes

OOh I didn’t know that was a feature.

Just had a look, for anyone else after it, go to:

Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers

So you would’ve answered this call, then? What with the number being spoofed and all.

I used to tell elderly relatives not to answer calls from numbers they don’t recognise. But for maybe a year or more now I’ve been telling them the extra bit of “Even if it’s a number you recognise, it may still be a scam”, which does worry them rather more but I don’t really have any choice :confused:

My advice to them now is always: if you get a call from your bank, if they say there’s a problem - it doesn’t matter how convincing they are, thank them for their call (they’re big on politeness, elderly relatives are) and HANG UP. Then go and visit the branch to ask them about it.

Except the fake caller may keep the line open, so you think you’ve hung up but haven’t, and when you call the number on the card they ‘answer’ the call. Boom, fake verification achieved.

If you’re going to try that, you need to either call someone else first (to be sure the line hasn’t been left open), or use a different phone.

I suspect general answer applies: Banks never call customers and try to discuss security issues over the phone. They may call you to ask you to contact them later or come into the branch. But they will never, ever ask you to disclose security information or personal detail during a call they have initiated.

2 Likes

One of the help pages says (or used to) that monzo will never call before contacting you in app first.

Edit : found it

If you use Monzo, we’ll never:

  • Call you without arranging it through in-app chat first
4 Likes

One of the biggest warning signs for me was:
A) asking me my date of birth
B) me refusing to give them it
C) them then giving me my “DOB” as identification proof(which was subsequently wrong)

The fact they gave the ANSWER to a security question they previously asked me made it pretty obvious that it was fraudulent

1 Like

This is very very useful to know

I’m fairly certain monzo would always try to contact you through in app chat first or verify it’s them through an in app message.

1 Like

Well, I don’t have Monzo support number in my phone, so even if it was spoofed to be the Monzo number, I wouldn’t answer, as it would just show up as a random number that I hadn’t memorised.

I guess if it was spoofed to say just “Monzo” (which I assume is probably possible?) then that would set alarm bells off personally, but I don’t know how you warn about that. I guess just “your bank will probably never call you”.

My advice to them now is always: if you get a call from your bank, if they say there’s a problem - it doesn’t matter how convincing they are, thank them for their call (they’re big on politeness, elderly relatives are) and HANG UP. Then go and visit the branch to ask them about it.

And to add to that, if you do say this, your bank should legit be OK with you saying this. If there’s any resistance to trying to do that, it is more likely a scam.

Fair point about the line being open thing.

1 Like

This is another reason (if more are required) to not give out landline numbers. This doesn’t work on mobiles.

5 Likes

Ah good spot - thanks for the link

If you use Monzo, we’ll never:

  • Call you without arranging it through in-app chat first
  • Ask you to share any sensitive information about yourself or your account, like your PIN.
  • Ask you to move your money out of Monzo and into a different account.

That said though, if there is a scenario when Monzo need to make contact on the phone, (lets say a follow up on something that requires action by Monzo), how do they verify that I am who they expect?

Would there be an in-app verification process before a call is initiated - as just ‘arranged through the app’ isn’t necessarily a security factor.

1 Like

Basically my approach is “if my phone rings its probably a scam” these days anyway.

3 Likes

I don’t know if it’s the case for all devices, but my phone tries to identify the caller for me and display the name below the number. It also tries to flag potentially fraudulent calls as such.

I’m not sure how it would behave in this kind of case, but if it labelled the caller as something like “Monzo”, due to appearing to actually be a Monzo number, it may make some people trust the call.

1 Like