ROME (Reuters) – Hackers have accessed the mailboxes of some employees at Italian state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi ‹BMPS.MI› and sent emails to clients, according to a notice to customers seen by Reuters.

Monte dei Paschi told clients in the notice that on March 30 some messages with voice mail attachments had been sent as a result of the cyber attack.

The notice to customers made no mention of any breach of company data. It did not say what if any information had been asked for, or if any customers had suffered any loss as a result of the emails.

The bank declined to comment.

Officials and cybersecurity experts have warned that hackers are seeking to capitalize on concern about the coronavirus pandemic which has prompted governments, including Italy’s, to impose limits on movement and economic activity to reduce contagion.

With households on lockdown, some banks have warned that customers have already been caught out by fraudsters posing as banks, government and even health service providers to persuade them to hand over passwords or other sensitive data.

Italian police have said they have seen an increase in cybercrime and have warned people to be particularly mindful of all mail related to the COVID-19 emergency.

Police have also told people to be careful with emails purportedly from banks as crimes linked to e-commerce, credit cards and home banking are on the rise.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by David Holmes

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