'Shark' Out $400K in Phishing Scam

Barbara Corcoran 'won't be getting the money back'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2020 11:21 AM CST
Even 'Sharks' Fall Victim to Phishing Schemes
TV personality Barbara Corcoran poses for a portrait in New York on Sept. 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File)

Even sharks get swindled now and then. Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran has revealed that she lost almost $400,000 in a phishing scam this week. The real estate mogul tells People that her bookkeeper received an email with a $388,700 invoice from a person she believed to be Corcoran's assistant. The bookkeeper responded with a query of what the money was for and was told it was part of a real estate investment. That made sense, so she sent the wire transfer. Then she emailed confirmation to Corcoran's real assistant, "who was shocked to see her name on the correspondence," says Corcoran, 70. "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."

The fake email chain had referenced a legitimate marketing agency, FFH Concept GmbH in Germany, per TMZ. Apart from the altered email, "there was no reason to be suspicious as I invest in a lot of real estate," Corcoran tells People. The scammer, traced to a Chinese IP address, took the money and disappeared. "I'm told that it's a common practice, and I won't be getting the money back," says Corcoran, who founded real estate brokerage The Corcoran Group before selling it for $66 million in 2001. "I was upset at first, but then remembered it was only money." In a tweet, she adds, "Lesson learned: Be careful when you wire money!" Authorities are investigating the case, per CNN. (More Shark Tank stories.)

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