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GoDaddy uses fake holiday bonus notification to test employees on email phishing

GoDaddy uses fake holiday bonus notification to test employees on email phishing
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Internet domain company GoDaddy used a holiday bonus notification to test employees on email phishing scams, after workers had already been told they would not receive a bonus this year.

The email to all staff, obtained by NBC affiliate KPNX in Arizona, was sent on Dec. 14 and read: "Happy Holiday GoDaddy! 2020 has been a record year for GoDaddy, thanks to you!"

"Though we cannot celebrate together during our annual Holiday Party, we want to show our appreciation and share a $650 one-time Holiday bonus!" the email continued. "To ensure that you receive your one-time bonus in time for the Holidays, please select your location and fill in the details by Friday, December 18th."

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The email from GoDaddy, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., comes months after CEO Aman Bhutani announced companywide layoffs, prompting some employees to call the testing mechanism insensitive, KPNX reported Wednesday.

The Hill has reached out to GoDaddy for comment.

GoDaddy, which has millions of customers, has fallen victim to various data breaches. Earlier this year it disclosed a breach that occurred in October 2019, according to Forbes.

The company is not the first to use fake bonuses as a way to test employees.

News media company Tribune Publishing sent out a similar email to employees in September, using bonuses as bait. The company had previously announced it was closing down certain newsrooms, imposing pay cuts and furloughing some employees.

Tribune later issued an apology and called the email "misleading and insensitive."