Those tracking the Twitter account of Ed Miliband, the British energy minister, were surprised by a message carrying an unusually direct reference to the politician's sex life.
"Oh dear it seems like I've fallen victim to twitter's latest 'phishing' scam," Miliband said in a message posted shortly afterward.
He wasn't alone.
On Thursday, House of Commons leader Harriet Harman told lawmakers her account had sent a bogus message to opposition lawmaker Alan Duncan.
She didn't say exactly what the content of the message was, but she left British lawmakers wondering when she told them: "I wouldn't ever send a tweet like that."
Other prominent politicians and journalists were among those who received the rogue messages.
Even tech-savvy Twitter users have been hit.
Intel UK, the British arm of the chip maker, apologized to its followers Thursday after saying its account had been hacked.
So too was the account of prominent tech blogger Cory Doctorow, who blamed the small screen on his phone for falling victim to the scam.