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Vishing and Smishing

Fraudsters are increasingly using a low-tech tool – the telephone – to defraud you. They can set up a system that automatically dials a long list of phone numbers and asks for account information. What’s more, they can mask the number that shows up on caller display so that the incoming call or text message looks legitimate.


This form of fishing for valuable information is called “Vishing”. It’s a variation of the term “phishing” – and the V stands for Voice.


To protect yourself from vishing, use some of the same techniques you’d use to avoid phishing frauds. Don’t give information to anybody unless you are certain you know who you’re dealing with. If you get a phone call about one of your accounts, hang up and call the institution. Dial the number that appears on the back of your credit card or on your statements using a different telephone if possible in order to speak to a genuine bank employee.


The term combines "SMS" and "phishing".

SMiShing frauds are similar to phishing frauds. You receive a message from a bank or service provider asking you to do something. However, the SMiShing is really a message from a fraudster. While most people are familiar with email phishing scams, they're less sceptical when receiving SMiShing messages.

How SMiShing Works

SMiShing scams often direct you to visit a website or call a phone number. If you dial the number, you’ll be asked for sensitive information like a credit card number. If you visit the website, it may attempt to infect your computer with malware.

Fraudsters continually get more and more creative. SMiShing schemes often try to get information such as credit card numbers. Then they use or sell the information later.  Even by opening a text that you are suspicious off can alert the fraudster that your number is active and you may be bombarded with more scam texts!


If you get a suspicious message, don't fall for it. Call a bank from a phone number you trust - one that you get from your statement or from the bank's website, for example. If you get a message about some "service" you've been signed up for and will have to cancel, search the web for other reports of the message. Forward these texts to your airtime supplier on the following numbers:

67726 for Vodafone users 

7726 for O2 and EE users

37726 for 3 users

If you have been a victim of Vishing or SMiShing we advise you contact your local police or Action Fraud.

Related Links

Action Fraud