“Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran has cause to celebrate after regaining the nearly $400,000 that had been stolen from her company through an online phishing scam.
As People reports, it all started when the NYC-based real estate tycoon’s bookkeeper received an email about an invoice “approving the payment for a real estate renovation,” she explained.
The clever scammers used the email address of Corcoran’s assistant, but with one letter missing. The bookkeeper didn’t notice the discrepancy and communicated with the con artists, thinking it was the assistant.
When the bookkeeper did due diligence, it turned out the invoice was indeed for a legit company. However, the wire transfer info was not.
“I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company,” Corcoran tells 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 wasn’t until the bookkeeper sent a followup to the assistant’s actual address about the wire transfer that it became apparent it was a hoax, realizing the email address had been altered.
“The money was wired to the scammer yesterday and my bookkeeper copied my assistant, who was shocked to see her name on the correspondence. 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,” Corcoran explained.
Unfortunately, by that point, it was too late, with $388,700.11 wired into the scammer’s account.
“The scammer disappeared and I’m told that it’s a common practice, and I won’t be getting the money back,” Corcoran said.
However, for someone as rich as Corcoran, $400,000 is a drop in the bucket.
“I was upset at first,” she said, “but then remembered it was only money.”
However, on Friday TMZ reported that the German bank used by the scammers caught wind of what had happened, and froze the account before the money could be rerouted to Asia, where the con is believed to have originated.
According to TMZ, Corcoran’s New York bank put on the German bank, which ultimately sent the transfer back to her account.