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Monzo tackles impersonation scams with new 'status call' feature

Monzo tackles impersonation scams with new 'status call' feature

Monzo has rolled out an in-app 'status call' feature that helps customers discern whether they're being called by a genuine bank staffer or a fraudster running an impersonation scam.

Impersonation fraud, when a scammer pretends to be calling from a trusted organisation such as a bank so they can encourage you to send them money, accounted for 45,367 cases of UK financial fraud in 2022, with losses totalling £177.6m.

In May, a customer of Santander Bank had £60,000 scammed from her account after transferrring funds to a criminal impersonating the bank's head of fraud, Chris Ainsley.

In a bid to beat the fraudsters, Monzo's new tool will let people check their 'call status' in the app, which will show whether or not a member of the bank’s team is talking to them at that moment.

"If the ‘Monzo call status’ is showing that a member of the Monzo team isn’t talking to you, hang up right away and report it to us," says Priyesh Patel, financial crime and security team lead at Monzo.

Customers using the feature will see an orange icon with a crossed-out phone showing a message that says: 'We're not talking to you, if someone is telling you they're from Monzo, hang up now'."

When a user is not connected to the Internet, a grey icon with a crossed-out phone shows a message that says: "No internet, don't answer. It's safer not to answer calls from anyone saying they're from Monzo now".

Monzo reiterates that it will never call a customer without arranging it first through in-app chat.

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