Barbara Corcoran, businesswoman, consultant and famously known for her role as an investor on “Shark Tank,” confirmed she lost nearly $400,000 to a phishing scam.
Corcoran told People the situation happened last week when a craftily-disguised email regarding a real estate transaction reached the desktop of her bookkeeper.
She said her bookkeeper, believing the email came directly from Corcoran’s assistant, asked all the right questions about the transaction, a $388,700 invoice due to a company in Germany.
However, the email address had been ever-so-slightly altered, and the person responding to the bookkeeper was not Corcoran’s assistant, but part of a phishing scam.
“I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company,” Corcoran told People. “It was an invoice supposedly sent by my assistant to my bookkeeper approving the payment for a real estate renovation. There was no reason to be suspicious as I invest in a lot of real estate.”
It was not until after the money had already been wired out of Corcoran’s bank account that her team realized they had been lied to.
“The money was wired to the scammer yesterday and my bookkeeper copied my assistant, who was shocked to see her name on the correspondence,” Corcoran said.
“The detail that no one caught was that my assistant’s email address was misspelled by one letter, making it the fake email address set up by the scammers.”
Lesson learned: Be careful when you wire money! https://t.co/ICW7ij9N8V
— Barbara Corcoran (@BarbaraCorcoran) February 26, 2020
Corcoran said her IT team was able to trace the email chain back to a Chinese IP address, TMZ reported.
Though Corcoran’s legal team is investigating the incident, the “Shark Tank” investor does not expect to see the money again.
“The scammer disappeared and I’m told that it’s a common practice, and I won’t be getting the money back,” Corcoran said.
After the initial shock wore off, Corcoran moved forward with a positive attitude and a big-picture perspective.
“I was upset at first, but then remembered it was only money,” she said.
Corcoran has been transparent about the incident, telling her Twitter followers she had learned a valuable lesson. “Be careful when you wire money!” she wrote.
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