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How to identify smishing
06 Apr 2023

Smishing is a common type of fraud, commonly referred to as SMS scams. It involves text messages specifically tailored to urge you to click on a link that takes you to a fake website designed to steal your information. Some smishing links contain harmful cyberattacks, such as spyware or malware, that allow scammers to scan your device for personal data, such as passwords and credit card details. 

While SMS scams can be very tricky, there are ways how we can identify them. In this article, we will explore four key indicators of SMS scams.

Unknown sender

You must be suspicious when you receive a message from someone you don’t know. Usually, scammers will use a fake or unfamiliar number to send messages that appear to be from a reputable company. These messages probably ask you to click on a link, provide information, or settle an outstanding payment. It’s vital to verify who the sender is before taking any action. If in doubt, take a moment to think and contact the company to confirm whether the message is legitimate. 

Urgent tone

Another tactic used in smishing is creating a sense of urgency. Scammers may use language that urges you to act quickly to avoid negative consequences such as fines, card deactivations, and bank account suspension. It’s all fake! 

Urgency in smishing is intended to panic and make you act impulsively without thinking. Always take a moment or two to think straight and verify whether a message and its sender are legitimate. 

Too good to be true

If it’s too good to be true, it is probably a fraud.

Scammers may promise you a big reward that seems unrealistic. For example, the message may indicate you can win a big prize, earn a fantastic job, or get a free ticket to New York. Such messages are a ploy to get you to provide your information or make a payment. 

Pin it in your mind; if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Suspicious URLs

The finest of details can be key indicators of an SMS scam. It’s important to carefully check the URL. Fake URLs are mostly designed to infect your device and capture your data. The BOV official URL is, but you may have seen the below at some point:

These are ALL scams

Smishing attempts are all over the place, becoming more challenging to spot. Be vigilant, verify the legitimacy of all messages, evaluate the urgency of each message, be wary of things that seem too good to be true, and carefully think before you click! 

Stay tuned for more Spot the Scam updates on our website and social media channels. 

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Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking and investment services in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta) and the Investment Services Act (Cap.370. of the Laws of Malta).