Can you tell a scam email just from its subject line?
A recent report from KnowBe4, a security awareness training firm, shows some of the most popular email subject lines that scammers are using to try to trick people out of their money and personal information.
For its Q3 2020 top-clicked phishing report, KnowBe4says it examined tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests. The company says it also reviewed real emails that were reported as suspicious to IT departments.
Here are the top phishing scam email subject lines that you need to look out for according to KnowBe4. Note that some of them appear to send information related to the coronavirus pandemic and that they all seem to require some kind of action on the part of the recipient.
Look Out for These Scam Email Subject Lines
- Payroll Deduction Form
- Please review the leave law requirements
- Password Check Required Immediately
- Required to read or complete: “COVID-19 Safety Policy”
- COVID-19 Remote Work Policy Update
Of course, when it comes to emails, subject lines aren’t the only thing you need to watch.
Money expert Clark Howard says you should always be cautious with emails the come from people or organizations you don’t know. Here is his #1 tip to spot an email phishing scam and what you should not do when you get one.
“Phishing emails will always contain a link to a website, or a toll free number to call. Don’t call, and never click the link — not even if it seems legitimate. Instead, go to the company’s website,” Clark says.
If you’re not sure that the email you received is legitimate, do your due diligence and look up the sending company’s official website yourself. And never enter your personal information into a link you received in an email.
Crooks are trying to get you to click on things of high emotional interest, like coronavirus. You have to stay vigilant to stay safe.
“During this pandemic, we’ve seen malicious hackers preying on users’ biggest weak points by sending messages that instill fear, uncertainty and doubt,” Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, is quoted as saying. “Our Q3 report confirms that coronavirus-related subject lines have remained their most promising attack type, as pandemic conditions weaken judgment, and lead to potentially detrimental clicks.”