Leading Norfolk estate agency Sowerbys has apologised to its customers after a suspected hack of its email system led to an unauthorised ‘spam’ email being sent out.
The company has issued an approved email apologising for the apparent data breach, revealing that some of its customers registered on its database have received a spam email signed from ‘Aaron Watson’, a member of the agency’s property team working within its Dereham branch.
But the apology suggests that his email may have been compromised and a phishing email sent to some customers in a bid to gain access to bank fund transfers involved in property sales.
This is a common hacking tactic – test employee emails until hackers find accounts with weak or predictable passwords and then use them to secretly communicate with sellers and/or their conveyancers and banks.
Sowerbys has told its customers: “Please be assured we are aware of the issue and are working closely with our IT support to resolve things as quickly as possible.
“Anyone transacting funds today are urged to exercise additional caution and call to confirm with your solicitor first.
“Customers are reminded to always remain vigilant and discard emails with spam or unusual content.
“We will provide a further update in due course and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“Should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact your local branch.”
The Negotiator has contacted Sowerbys to ask the agency to comment on its email warning.