The Most Common Email Keywords That Everyone Should Know to Avoid Phishing Scams



Email phishing scams are in no way new, but with people living so much of their lives online during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are increased opportunities for it to happen. In fact, 2020 saw a 25% increase in the number of phishing sites compared to 2019.

One of the ways people can decrease their chances of being scammed is paying close attention to the emails they receive (or at least the ones they’re considering opening). To help pinpoint what to look for, Expel analyzed 10,000 malicious emails, and released a report on the most common keywords found in the subject lines of phishing emails. Here’s what to know.

Understanding scammers’ tactics

Expel’s report found that scammers use a combination of three strategies to get people to interact with their emails:

  1. Imitating legitimate business activities
  2. Creating a sense of urgency
  3. Prompting the recipient to act

“Attackers are trying to trick people into giving them their credentials. The best way to do this is to make the email look legitimate, prompt one clear action and lace it with emotion—urgency or fear of loss are the most common,” Ben Brigida, the director of SOC Operations at Expel told TechRepublic. “The actions are as simple as ‘go to this site’ or ‘open this file,’ but the attacker wants you to be moving too fast to stop and question if it’s legitimate.”

Most common keywords used in subject lines of phishing emails

The full report provides additional details and examples of how and why these keywords are used in phishing email subject lines. For now, here’s a quick rundown of some that should be approached with extra caution:

Invoice

Examples of real subject lines:

  1. RE: INVOICE
  2. Missing Inv ####; From [Legitimate Business Name]
  3. INV####

New

Examples of real subject lines:

  1. New Message from ####
  2. New Scanned Fax Doc-Delivery for ####
  3. New FaxTransmission from ####

Message

Examples of real subject lines:

  1. Message From ####
  2. You have a New Message
  3. Telephone Message for ####

Required

Examples of real subject lines:

  1. Verification Required!
  2. Action Required: Expiration Notice on [business email address]
  3. [Action Required] Password Expire
  4. Attention Required. Support ID: ####…Read more>>

Source:-lifehacker

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