One little letter in an email can make ALL the difference.
It appears Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran is out nearly $400,000 dollars from an email phishing scam that went down this week. TMZ reports that Barbara’s team sent $380,000 dollars to an international company in what they believed was for a bill/ investment opportunity, but instead it was a scam.
It all started when Barbara’s book keeper received an email last week from who they thought was Barbara’s executive assistant Emily, informing her she had the green light to pay $388,700.11 to a company called FFH Concept GmbH in Germany. Well it turns out the email wasn't from Barbara's executive assistant, but really a scam.
Ilya S. Savenok/ Getty Images
The scammers changed Emily's email address by removing one letter, so they were the ones actually communicating with Christine, who reportedly 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. So the reality of the situation made sense since FFH Concept is a real company and Barbara does invest in property overseas.
So on Tuesday, Barbara’s bookkeeper wired over payment to the account listed in the original email. Afterward, she emails Barbara's assistant, at her real email, and it's only then that Emily uncovers the scam. She noticed her address was altered on the previous chain of emails.
Unfortunately by the time they found it, the money was already gone, but reportedly Barbara's IT folks traced the original scam emails back to a Chinese IP address, and her attorneys are figuring out their next move.
Let this be a lesson to everyone out there to be careful. Anyone can get got.