“Shark Tank” star ( an American business reality television series ) Barbara Corcoran is missing nearly 400,000 Wednesday morning after her office was victimized by email scammers who used a tiny typo to gain the upper hand.
The scam started last week when an email chain was forwarded to Barbara’s bookkeeper, a woman named Christine. Folks on Barbara’s team tell us the email appeared to have been sent from Barbara’s executive assistant, Emily … and it informed Christine she had the green light to pay 388,700 dollars to a company called FFH Concept GmbH in Germany.
The problem is that email didn’t really come from Emily.
The scammers changed Emily’s email address by removing one letter, so they were the ones actually communicating with Christine … who did ask the right questions. For instance, she asked what the money was for, and got an email back saying FFH was designing German apartment units in which Barbara had invested.
Great cover story because we’re told Barbara really does invest in real estate, and FFH is a real company in Germany. Plus, all of this looks even more legit because it appears to be coming from Barbara’s assistant.
Anyway, on Tuesday … the bookkeeper fires off the wire payment to the account listed in the original email. Afterward, she emails Barbara’s assistant, Emily — at her real address — and it’s only then that Emily uncovers the scam. She noticed her address was altered on the previous chain of emails.
Unfortunately, the money is gone, but we’re told Barbara’s IT folks traced the original scam emails back to a Chinese IP address, and her attorneys are figuring out their next move.