Emails can range from simple greetings to important notices. Knowing that you are more likely to react to serious messages, a lot of phishing scams tend to veer toward important notices. Scams that use this tactic ask you to act quickly on something or something bad may happen soon.
If you run into an email requesting urgent action followed by a threat of a negative consequence, you may want to think twice before doing what’s requested. It could lead you into a trap that downloads a virus to your computer. This is one of the most tried and true tactics of phishing emails. The goal is to rush you into taking action before you get hit with the negative consequence, so there’s not enough time for you to study the email for inconsistencies.
A few examples of urgent calls to action include messages about compromised credit cards, account deactivation notices, and IT support requests. In real emergencies, like a compromised credit card, the company won’t ask you to follow a link or reply back with your sensitive information. More often than not, they’ll recommend that you call them directly.