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Phishing Email and Text Scams

Learn how to detect and report suspicious email and text messages that appear to be from Wells Fargo.

What is phishing?

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and account details, typically through an email or text message. These messages may impersonate a company and often include an urgent request to convince you to sign on to a spoof site, open an attachment containing malware, or respond with personal or account information. Once obtained, this information can be used to access your account and steal money.

If you receive a suspicious email or text message, don’t respond, click any links, or open attachments. Don’t sign on to your account from a link in a suspicious message. To sign on, go to the Wells Fargo homepage by typing into your browser or use the Wells Fargo Mobile® app.

How to report phishing

If you responded

If you clicked on a link, opened an attachment, or provided personal or account information, call us immediately at 1-866-867-5568.

If you didn’t respond

Forward the suspicious email or send an email with the text message copy (no screenshots) to and delete it. You will receive an automated response.

Common warning signs and how we may contact you

Phishing scams can be hard to spot, but there are some warning signs:

Suspicious sender

Do you know the email address, phone number, or short code? Don’t respond to messages from a sender you don’t recognize. Five-digit short codes are commonly used by companies, like Wells Fargo, to send text messages. Add trusted short codes and phone numbers to your contact list so you recognize them when you receive a text.

Unusual language

Are there spelling or grammar mistakes in the message? Does it contain unusual formatting, such as text in call caps, ID numbers, or punctuation like exclamation points? It may be a scam, so don’t respond.

Unexpected request

If you receive an unexpected request to unblock your account, update your information, or verify your identity, don’t click on any links or respond. Wells Fargo may send an identity verification request when prompted by an action you have taken, such as signing on to your account or sending money.

We may contact you

For your security, Wells Fargo may contact you by email, text, or phone regarding your card or account activity. When we contact you, we will not ask for your card PIN, access code, or online banking password. If you are uncomfortable about a request for information, do not respond and instead call the number on the back of your debit or credit card to verify the request.

What does phishing look like?

Email phishing is becoming more sophisticated and difficult to distinguish from legitimate emails. In this example, notice:

  1. Non-Wells Fargo email address: The email address of the sender does not include the domain name, but instead uses “”.
  2. Urgent call to action: The email conveys urgency in the subject line and message copy by using the phrase “Security Alert” multiple times, as well as language indicating your account may be at risk for fraud, to convince you to take action.
  3. Suspicious URL: The email contains a link that appears to be legitimate, but leads to a fraudulent website. You should preview a URL before clicking on it. If you’re using a computer, hover over the link with your mouse, and the URL will show in the bottom left of your browser window. On an iPhone®, you can tap and hold the link and the URL will appear in a pop-up box.

What does smishing look like?

Text phishing or “smishing” uses similar techniques as email phishing. In this example, notice:

  1. Suspicious sender: The text was sent from an unknown phone number, instead of one of Wells Fargo’s official short codes: 935-57, 937-33, 937-29, or 546-87.
  2. Unexpected request and unusual formatting: The message includes an unexpected request to verify your identity along with text in all caps, Alert ID number, and an exclamation point.
  3. Suspicious URL: The text message contains a link to a non-Wells Fargo URL, which could be a fraudulent website.