'Shark Tank' Star Barbara Corcoran Loses Nearly $400,000 in Phishing Scam

February 27, 2020

A "Shark" got hooked.

Barbara Corcoran learned about email phishing scams the hard way when she was swindled out of almost $400,000.

The “Shark Tank” star told PEOPLE, “I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company.”

She went on to explain how it happened, saying, “It was an invoice supposedly sent by my assistant to my bookkeeper approving the payment for a real estate renovation."

Corcoran explained that her team had no "reason to be suspicious as I invest in a lot of real estate.”

The scammers, a company called FFH Concept GmbH in Germany, were pretty straightforward in their approach: they sent a phony email to Corcoran's bookkeeper, which she assumed came from the assistant because it was virtually the same except for one tiny typo.

Corcoran’s team made the realization when the bookkepper sent an email to the assistant’s real address letting her know she made the payment.

“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.”

By the time everyone realized what was happening, the nearly $400,000 payment was already withdrawn.

Corcoran admitted that she doesn’t believe she’ll be able to recover the funds. TMZ reports the scam emails traced back to a Chinese IP address and her attorneys are looking into it.

She shared TMZ’s post as an eye-opening lesson: “Lesson learned: Be careful when you wire money!”

Phishing email scams have become incredibly advanced, so this is a solid reminder to remain vigilant whenever you get any email asking for a payment.

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