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Text message scams (Smishing)

  • What are text scams?


    Text or SMS scams (also known as Smishing) are often texts that appear on the surface to be from your bank or another organisation you trust, and can appear as part of a thread of text messages.  They may claim that you have been a victim of fraud and insist that you click on a link, or website address. They may mention a large transaction and ask you to call a number if you didn’t make it. In reality, these messages are sent by scammers who are looking to access your personal details.

    Fake texts may encourage you to log onto a fake banking site and enter your details, ask you to call a number, which charges callers at a premium rate, or even direct you to a fake call centre. These messages may also contain viruses or software that give scammers access to the contents of your phone.

    Text or SMS scams (also known as Smishing) are often texts that appear on the surface to be from your bank or another organisation you trust, and can appear as part of a thread of text messages.  They may claim that you have been a victim of fraud and insist that you click on a link, or website address. They may mention a large transaction and ask you to call a number if you didn’t make it. In reality, these messages are sent by scammers who are looking to access your personal details.

    Fake texts may encourage you to log onto a fake banking site and enter your details, ask you to call a number, which charges callers at a premium rate, or even direct you to a fake call centre. These messages may also contain viruses or software that give scammers access to the contents of your phone.

One in three people have received a scam message in the past six months. Of those people, one in 14 had lost personal data, money or both*

  • How to spot the signs


    • someone you know or a company you’re dealing with sends you a text containing a suspicious link
    • a friendly text from a new number asks you to get in touch
    • your bank claims that your account has been frozen and requests you call a new number
    • the message asks you to click on a link to confirm your security details or call a number – and when you phone, someone asks for your PIN or password.
    • someone you know or a company you’re dealing with sends you a text containing a suspicious link
    • a friendly text from a new number asks you to get in touch
    • your bank claims that your account has been frozen and requests you call a new number
    • the message asks you to click on a link to confirm your security details or call a number – and when you phone, someone asks for your PIN or password.
  • How to stay safe


    • don’t reply to texts from people you don’t know
    • don’t call any numbers included in text messages
    • never click on links in texts, even if they are from friends. Call them first to confirm
    • contact your bank directly on the usual number to check any account texts
    • don’t immediately assume that the sender is who you think it is.
    • don’t reply to texts from people you don’t know
    • don’t call any numbers included in text messages
    • never click on links in texts, even if they are from friends. Call them first to confirm
    • contact your bank directly on the usual number to check any account texts
    • don’t immediately assume that the sender is who you think it is.

Worried that you've been targeted?

If you think you've been the victim of any scam, it's important to call us as soon as possible.

Call 03 456 100 100 (Lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year).