Text message fraud and smishing

What is it, how to
avoid it and what
to do if it happens

What is smishing?

This is when a fraudster sends a text message to say there's a problem with your bank account and ask you to call a phone number. If you do so, fraudsters will try to trick you into giving away your personal and security information.

Other messages may be from fraudsters pretending to be your bank, saying that personal information about you has been posted on the internet and ask you to visit a website. Using the link in the message may lead to an attempt to infect your computer or mobile device with a virus.

The text may ask for sensitive information, such as pins or passcodes, tell you that you’re owed a refund, or that there is a problem with your account. There will be a sense of urgency to the message, encouraging you to act fast, open a link or respond to the message.

Forward any suspicious texts referring to Royal Bank of Scotland to the number 88355

How to protect yourself from Smishing

    Never give your full Digital Banking PIN, full password or card reader codes to anyone via text

    Do not phone the number included in the message, as fraudsters will try to trick you into giving away personal information

    Our text messages may contain links to our websites, but, like our emails, never link to pages that ask for any online banking or full card details.

    If you have already clicked on a link, it is advised to run a scan with your antivirus software to check your device for any malicious software.

    Keep your phone's operating system up to date

How to spot a Smishing scam


In order to put the above tips into action it’s important to know what smishing looks like, because it isn’t always strange texts from unknown numbers. In fact, some scammers even use technology to make their messages look as though they are from your bank. 

But thankfully, by knowing what to expect, you can protect yourself. We’ve put this section together to show you the kind of messages fraudsters send so that if you get a smishing text message you can spot it straight away.

Knowing what to expect

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