GoDaddy accused of ‘tricking’ employees with phishing email

·2-min read

Employees at GoDaddy, a publicly traded domain registrar arguably most well-known for its controversial Superbowl commercials, received an email on Dec. 14 which notified them that they would be receiving a holiday bonus — except it wasn’t real.

It seems unfeasible that so many people approved this idea before it got sent out to over 7,000 employees.

A copy of the email obtained by 12 News said:

The easiest snack mix you can make in under 5 minutes:

“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! 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 18.”

Employees were initially confused since they had already been told that they wouldn’t be receiving a bonus in 2020, and later found out the email was a phishing test.

Phishing tests are used by many companies to keep employees on top of being able to identify scam emails. GoDaddy fell victim to a huge data breach in early 2020 where 28,000 customers were affected.

In a consequent town hall, employees expressed outrage over the content of the fake email — particularly given the pandemic and the fact that GoDaddy had experienced lay-offs across the country in June.

GoDaddy also reported an 11 percent revenue increase and a record boom of new customers in November, making it all the more infuriating that workers were teased with a $650 bonus.

Twitter eventually found out about the test and GoDaddy faced more backlash for the idea.

“Millions are suffering right now and @GoDaddy thought this would be a cool time to email employees with the promise of a bonus — only to tell the ones who clicked through they failed a phishing test,” someone tweeted.

“Not GoDaddy making $3.22 billion in revenue and then tricking their employees into thinking they were getting $650…” another added.

“I know GoDaddy’s public stunts have the intent of pissing people off,” a person tweeted, referencing the company’s commercials, “but usually that’s not a great idea when it comes to the people who are literally keeping you afloat.”

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