“Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran lost nearly $400,000 to a phishing scam late last month after scammers tricked people in her office into wiring funds to a bank in Germany. The good news is Corcoran ended up recovering the funds before the money could be transferred to the fraudster’s bank account in China.
The TV star told Fox News that she was “thrilled” about recovering the stolen funds.
“I had already accepted it and moved on. Everyone told me I wouldn’t get the money back and it just seems unbelievable!”
On February 21, 2020, scammers posed as her assistant and sent a fake email to Corcoran’s bookkeeper for a supposed invoice for a real estate renovation. This type of scam is also known as business email compromise (BEC), which is not that uncommon in real estate industry.
Unfortunately, the email was from an address that looked identical to the assistant’s address, but used one different letter. TMZ was the first to report the story.
After the bookkeeper replied to the email to help verify it was a legitimate request, she then proceeded to wire $388,700.11 into a German-based bank account.
The good news is Corcoran’s office quickly put pressure on the German bank to help freeze the funds soon after the fraud was discovered. In the end, the money was returned to its rightful owner.
Security experts have long warned about BEC scams that target real estate industry and even Fortune 500 firms.