'Shark Tank' Star Barbara Corcoran Gets Back the Nearly $400,000 Stolen in Phishing Scam
By Jackie Willis
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images
Even a woman as business savvy as Barbara Corcoran can have the wool pulled over her eyes. The Shark Tank star recently revealed that she was scammed out of nearly $400,000 but confirms that she was thankfully able to get the money back.
"Everyone told me I wouldn’t get the money back and it just seems unbelievable!" she tells People. "I’m thrilled! ... I had already accepted it and moved on."
The phishing scheme occurred when Corcoran's bookkeeper received an emailed invoice she thought was from the businesswoman's assistant asking for payment approval to a company called FFH Concept GmbH in Germany for a real estate renovation, TMZreported.
"I lost the $388,700 as a result of a fake email chain sent to my company," Corcoran told People last month. "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 error went unnoticed until the bookkeeper sent a message to the actual email address of Corcoran's assistant letting her know that the payment was approved.
"My bookkeeper copied my assistant, who was shocked to see her name on the correspondence," Corcoran, 70, explained. "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 they realized what had happened, the money was already removed 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, who sold her real estate brokerage company for $66 million in 2001, said at the time of the scam. "I was upset at first, but then remembered it was only money."
Lucky for her, they were able to retrieve the nearly $400,000! "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," Corcoran tells People how they were able to get the money back. "I really thought it was a goner!"
Leave it to Corcoran to keep a positive attitude! Last month, ET spoke exclusively with the beloved businesswoman, who joked about losing Alex Rodriguez, a frequent guest on Shark Tank, to Jennifer Lopez.
Check out our exclusive interview, which includes a tour of her massive NYC apartment: