What is Smishing?
Smishing is a combination of the words SMS and Phishing. This scam involves a fraudster sending text messages to random mobile phones. The text messages claim to come from a reputable organisation such as a bank, card issuer or a service provider such as a mobile phone company.
The message will typically ask the victim to click a link to a website or to call a phone number, in order to “verify”, “update” or to “reactivate” their account. The website link leads to a bogus website and the phone number leads to a fraudster pretending to be the legitimate company. The criminal then attempts to get the individual who has responded to disclose personal, financial or security information, which will then be used for fraudulent purposes.
Often the messages attempt to alarm the potential victim, claiming that urgent action is needed or serious consequences will result.
How to avoid being tricked by Smishing:
- Be wary of unsolicited text messages that purport to come from a reputable organisation, such as a bank or credit or debit card company
- Be suspicious of text messages that encourage you urgently to visit a website or call a number to verify or update your details
- Do not reply to text messages that request your personal information such as username or bank account without first independently validating that they are genuine
- Never respond to text messages which request your 4 digit PIN or online banking password or any other password
- Be cautious about clicking on any links that may be embedded or calling the number in a text message
- If you think you might have responded to a smishing text message and provided your bank account details, contact your bank immediately.