Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran Gets Back $388K Stolen in Phishing Scam: 'I'm Thrilled!'
"Everyone told me I wouldn't get the money back and it just seems unbelievable!" Barbara Corcoran said in a statement to PEOPLE
A happy ending!
After getting scammed out of nearly $400,000 in a phishing scheme, Shark Tank star and well-known real estate investor Barbara Corcoran has revealed the money has been returned to her.
“I’m thrilled!” Corcoran, 70, said in a statement to PEOPLE. “I had already accepted it and moved on.”
Corcoran went on to share that she had her doubts about ever seeing the lump sum again. Corcoran said, “Everyone told me I wouldn’t get the money back and it just seems unbelievable!”
As for how the money was returned, Corcoran explained: “The money was wired through a German bank on the way to the scammer’s Chinese account. But my bank put pressure on the German bank and they froze the money giving us time to prove it was fraud. I really thought it was a goner!”
The incident unfolded last month when Corcoran’s bookkeeper received an email about an invoice “approving the payment for a real estate renovation,” Corcoran told PEOPLE last week.
“I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company,” Corcoran said. “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.”
The bookkeeper continued to communicate with whom she thought was Corcoran’s assistant and went ahead with the wire payment on Tuesday of last week.
The error wasn’t noticed until the bookkeeper sent a follow up to Corcoran’s assistant’s actual address, informing her of what she had just done. That’s when the company became aware of the scam and the assistant noticed the hacker had altered her email.
“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.
However, it was too late as $388,700.11 was already gone from the 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.
Despite the dramatic loss, Corcoran kept a positive attitude.
“I was upset at first, but then remembered it was only money,” Corcoran tells PEOPLE.
TMZ was first to report the news and revealed that the company the scammer used was FFH Concept GmbH in Germany — a legitimate marketing agency in Hürth.
Corcoran’s IT team was able to trace the emails back to a Chinese IP address, TMZ reported.