'I replied to a genuine bank tweet and lost £9,200 to a fraudster'

An experienced accountant fell for a scammer mirroring Metro Bank’s security and customer service

Michael Johnson* and his business partner had struggled for a month to open a new account with Metro Bank, despite the fact that he was already a customer. So it was a relief to receive a phone call apologising for the delay and promising that the new account could be set up then and there. The caller took him through Metro’s standard security questions and Johnson received authorisation codes texted from Metro to enable the transfer of his payees from his old account to the new. That afternoon he received another call. It was Metro Bank informing him that he had been scammed out of £9,200.

Nearly 85,000 banking customers lost £354m to fraudsters last year after being tricked into revealing bank details. The scam, known as “authorised push-payment fraud”, typically deceives customers into thinking they are communicating with their bank so that they disclose vital security information, or with a legitimate trader to whom they owe money.

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