Bank of England governor subject of $6.5m text scam

Mark Carney

Anyone who has opened an email purporting to be from Bank of England governor Mark Carney about $6.5m they never knew they had should hold off before popping the champagne corks.

In what appears to be one of the more ambitious attempts at online fraud, Twitter user @JasonZubris has been getting texts purporting to be from the man in charge of the UK’s monetary policy.

The text begins: “This is Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. I am texting you about your funds worth $6.5m so please text me back as soon as possible. Thank you and God Bless you.”

When @JasonZubris warned the sender that the incident had been reported to the authorities, the would-be con artist upped his game.

In an attempt to prove his identity, he sent what appeared to be a mock-up of a Bank of England security pass. “I just sent you my ID card as proof that this transaction is for real and highly legitimate so you have nothing to worry about,” he wrote.

Rather than getting angry, @JasonZubris responded with amusement, telling Twitter followers: “I’ve seen many a scam in my days but it’s really tempting when someone poses as the governor of the @bankofengland”.

The impostor did not explain why Carney would be personally texting people about lost funds, or why the Bank of England governor would denominate the phantom sum in dollars.

The Bank confirmed that Carney had not been sending texts offering money to random strangers.

The ambitious scam drew ridicule on Twitter as users riffed on the content of the text.

Twitter user @GreenEpidemic ironically upbraided @JasonZubris for doubting the provenance of the message, pointing out that the sender promised the text was “highly legitimate”.

Other users speculated on what other scams might involve major figures in the world of economics, such as timeshares offered by International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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