LinkedIn Phishing Scams Most Clicked With a 47% Open Rate in Q3

According to Atlas VPN, emails with a keyword “LinkedIn” in the subject line topped the list of most opened phishing emails three years in a row.

NEW YORK — Emails with a keyword “LinkedIn” in the subject line topped the list of most opened social media phishing emails three years in a row, according to Atlas VPN.

During the third quarter this year, LinkedIn phishing emails had a 47% open rate — only a 1% drop from the same period last year.

Top-clicked LinkedIn phishing emails include such subject lines as “You appeared in new searches this week!”; “People are looking at your LinkedIn profile”; “Please add me to your Linkedin network”; and, “Join my network on LinkedIn.”

The second most opened social media phishing emails include the keyword “Twitter.” Emails with a subject line “Someone has sent you a direct message on Twitter!” had a 15% open rate.

Phishing attacks exploiting Twitter were followed by similar Facebook scams. Emails titled “Your friend tagged you in photos on Facebook” had a 12% click rate.

Cybercriminals are often targeting employees, as such attacks can yield much higher profits, according to Atlas VPN. Moreover, phishing emails are usually disguised as legitimate and basic messages employees see day after day.

That is one of the reasons why when it comes to general email subject lines, the top most opened phishing emails in the third quarter of this year were payroll emails. More specifically, emails titled “Payroll Deduction Form” had an impressive 33% open rate.

COVID-19 Phishing Warning Signs

As the worldwide pandemic is still ongoing, novel coronavirus-themed emails continued to lure people into the phishing traps. Emails with keywords “COVID-19” and “pandemic” saw a 32% open rate.

Most of the top-clicked COVID-19-themed phishing emails were related to work policy, with the most successful COVID-19 themed phishing email subject line being “Required to read or complete: “COVID-19 Safety Policy” with a 9% open rate.

“COVID-19 Safety Policy” was closely followed by “COVID-19 Remote Work Policy Update ” with a 7% click rate, and “Your team shared “COVID 19 Amendment and Emergency leave pay policy” with you via OneDrive” with a 6% open rate.

Other pandemic-related phishing scams include emails titled “Official Quarantine Notice” and “COVID-19: Return To Work Guidelines and Requirements” each with a 5% open rate.

To view the full Atlas VPN report, go here.

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