Pinkerton, Palm, Hamlyn and Steen director Robin Steen, Naracoorte, SA, recently sent out a text message to his client-base, informing them that messages “that appear to be sent from a legitimate company email, requesting payment of invoice, or notifying of changes to payment arrangements”, had been being sent out.
Mr Steen told Stock & Land that they have had a couple of staff members’ emails hacked into.
“We don’t really know how it’s happened, but once they’ve got into our emails, they have researched the emails very well, and changed the settings so that they could send emails to the right people,” Mr Steen said.
“They sent emails from my address to a dozen people that I know of, trying to imitate real estate sales, or trying to get information sent to a Dropbox.”
He has advised his client-base to delete emails that seem suspicious, or to contact their agent if they have any concerns over the legitimacy of any emails.
“If you haven’t had anything to do with me recently, or the agent they are getting an email from, then don’t open the email; just be very aware of opening something from someone you’re not currently involved with,” he said.
“We don’t accept a change of bank details coming through email, so if you need to make any changes to your account, contact us directly by phone.”
Mr Steen said they have also implemented new security measures, to avoid this from happening again.
He said rural Australians might be being targeted by hackers, because they are known to be “trusting people”.
“This issue is very ripe across Australia and it’s frustrating,” he said.
Rural Australians are trusting people – if they see an email come up from an agent they know, they’re going to open it.”