Home : Internet Terms : Smishing Definition


Smishing is a combination of the terms "SMS" and "phishing." It is similar to phishing, but refers to fraudulent messages sent over SMS (text messaging) rather than email.

The goal of smishing is to capture people's personal information. In order to do this, "smishers" send out mass text messages designed to capture the recipients' attention. Some messages may be threatening, e.g., "Visit this URL to avoid being charged $5.00 per day," while others may provide a fake incentive, such as "You have won a free gift card, visit this website to claim your prize." If you click on a link in the text message, you will be directed to a fraudulent website that will ask you to enter your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, and email address. In some cases, a smishing website will ask you to enter your bank account information or social security number.

Smishing has become increasingly common now that smartphones are widely used. Many smartphones allow you to simply click on a link in a text message to view the website in your phone's browser. This makes text messages an effective "bait" for luring unsuspecting users to fraudulent websites. Therefore, just like when you receive email spam, is best to not visit websites mentioned in text messages from unknown sources.

Updated: May 15, 2012

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of Smishing. It explains in computing terminology what Smishing means and is one of many Internet terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Smishing definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.