Also known as smishing

Text message scams

What is a fake text message?

This is when a fraudster sends a text message to you pretending to be from your bank. This is also known as 'smishing'.

The text message may advise that there's a problem with your bank account, asking you to call a phone number. If you call, fraudsters will try to trick you into giving away your personal and security information.

The message may say that personal information about you has been posted online 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.

There will be a sense of urgency to the message, encouraging you to act fast, open a link or respond to the message.

How to spot a fake text message

They could try to alarm you

The scammers might use capital letters or frightening language to make you believe your bank account has been accessed.

  • 'WARNING we’ve noticed some suspicious activity on your account. For your security, your account will be suspended if you do not get in touch. Click this link to contact our fraud team.'

They might use shocking numbers

By telling you a specific amount has been withdrawn from your account, fraudsters want to make you panic.

  • 'A withdrawal of £1566.04 has been made from your account. If this wasn’t you please call the fraud team on XXXX XXX XXXX immediately.'

Don’t respond to them. Check your bank balance using online banking or our mobile app for peace of mind.

They'll often try to rush you

They will tell you to “act fast” so you will act without thinking or claim that your account has been accessed at a specific time to make the message seem genuine. 

  • 'Our security team need to speak with you urgently. Your bank account was accessed at 14:35PM. If this wasn’t you, please call our fraud team immediately on XXXX XXX XXXX.'

They might tell you a certain device was used

Scammers will say a specific device was used to log in to your online banking to make the scam seem real. They may tell you an unauthorised or unknown device was used.

  • 'An unknown device has just been used to log into your bank account. Your account may be at risk. Please visit www.afakelink.com to secure your account immediately.'

They‘ll try to sound helpful

Another way fraudsters try to trick you is by using language you’d expect to hear from a bank or a company you trust, such as a slogan or phrases. 

  • 'Someone tried to access your account today, but thankfully we stopped them in time. To protect you we’ve put a temporary block on your account. All you need to do is use this secure link to log in: www.afakesite.com.'

They may follow up a fake text with a call

There have been cases where fraudsters send a smishing text and then quickly follow up with a phone call, to make the scam appear more real. When a fraudster uses a phone call to try to trick you into telling them your financial information, it’s known as vishing.

  • 'Hello Sir, I am calling as we have detected some suspicious activity on your account. I believe we texted you about this yesterday.'

Protect yourself from fake text messages

  • To protect yourself and your money, think twice before clicking on any unexpected texts.
  • Never give your online banking PIN, full password or card reader codes to anyone via text.
  • Don't phone the number included in the message, as fraudsters will try to trick you into giving away personal information. Look up the number on the bank's website directly.
  • Our text messages may contain links to our websites however will never link to pages that ask for any online banking or full card details.
  • If you've 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
  • We, nor any other reputable company, will never contact you unexpectedly asking for remote access to your device
  • Only install software or grant remote access to your computer if you’re asked by someone you know and trust, such as a friend or family member.
  • If you're unsure, please contact us by clicking the report fraud button.
  • If you feel like you're being rushed or forced into giving access to your device, you can always refuse or ignore the request. 

Fake text messages pretending to be from us

Fraudsters will claim that they are messaging from Isle of Man Bank. They will try and convince you to click the link in the message by telling you that your phone number has been updated and asking you to follow the link to correct it.

Alternatively they may say that they suspect fraudulent activity on your account and you need to click the link to find out more. The link will then take you to a site where they'll try to steal your banking information.

How to report a suspicious text message

If you have received a suspicious text message referring to Isle of Man Bank, please forward the text to us at:

07860 009378

From abroad: +44 7860 009378

Standard network rates apply. Please contact your network provider for more information on charges.

Other content you might find helpful...

Fake emails

Emails pretending to be from legitimate sources, however that are asking you to give away personal or private information.

Fake telephone calls

Phone calls from fraudsters that encourage you to give out personal details, such as your debit card number or card reader codes.

Identity theft

Identity theft is when a fraudster steals your personal information to impersonate you, open accounts, obtain credit or set up businesses.