After an initial plodding response, Monzo refunded a fraud victim in full. Here’s how we helped, and why banks have a responsibility to protect your money.
25/05/2021: Further spoofing scam victims
Another victim of a Monzo spoofing scam recently told us more details about the tactics being used by the scammers. Fraudsters first persuaded him into transferring money from his other bank account with HSBC, to his Monzo account.
The scammers fraudulently claimed they were collaborating with HSBC on the transfer and sent the victim text messages while he was on the phone to them to make it look genuine:
When the transfer was complete, the scammers asked the victim to confirm the transaction in the Monzo app, which in fact approved a payment set up by the scammers. This wiped his account of £8,000, which included a recent student loan payment. The victim was later fully reimbursed by Monzo.
09/10/2020: How we helped a victim get their money back
The last thing Scott wanted to hear after being furloughed was that his bank account had been targeted by fraudsters.
He received emails, calls and texts from his bank, Monzo, all warning that his account needed to be secured.
Scott was initially sceptical, but the caller was professional, calling from the digital bank’s phone number, and insisted his money was at risk. Scott carefully checked all the details before reluctantly handing over his account information.
He was horrified to later discover that all his money – £12,000 – had vanished. The emails were convincing fakes, and the calls and texts were spoofs created by scammers.
‘I’m savvy about these things, but the set up was so slick,’ said Scott.
Contacting the bank
He contacted Monzo immediately for help and was stunned by its response. He told us that its customer services ‘filled him with fear and uncertainty’ about whether he would get his money back.
“There was no support or empathy. I was made to feel it was my fault, and that the bank probably wasn’t going to do anything about it, I didn’t expect violins, but I did expect reassurance. I thought Monzo would be on my side”
Scott heard nothing from Monzo for weeks, despite him following up his initial complaint several times. After getting nowhere and being worried that he would never get his money back, Scott turned to Which? for advice on what he could do next.
We told Scott that he should be reimbursed by Monzo because he hadn’t given permission to make the transaction. He wrote to Monzo demanding a refund. Only then did Monzo reimburse Scott for the full amount, plus compensation for the inconvenience.
In response to a call for comment on Scott’s case, Monzo said:
“It is clear cut that Scott was entitled to his money back. We never declined his request. We just took too long sorting this out. We have apologised and compensated him for this”
Protecting your money
Banks have a responsibility to protect your money and they should do everything within their power to recover losses that are due to fraud.
In this case, the transaction was unauthorised and therefore had to be refunded in accordance with the Payment Services Regulations.
These are the same regulations that cover you if your card is lost or stolen and used fraudulently.
Sometimes banks might attempt to wriggle out of reimbursing customers in these situations, but you should never be held accountable if you can prove you didn’t give permission to send the money, as was the case with Scott.
Have you struggled to get your money back after a sophisticated scam?