- Scammers reportedly impersonated Barbara Corcoran’s assistant and wrote an email to her bookkeeper.
- The scammers convinced them to wire them nearly $400,000 to a bank account under their control.
A Shark Tank star lost nearly $400,000 in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam after a fraudster manipulated her bookkeeper into wiring funds to a new bank account.
What’s the story?
Multi-millionaire, and a US TV star, Barbara Corcoran has lost around $400,000 in a classic email fraud scam.
- It was her bookkeeper who the attackers duped into wiring the $388,000 funds into an Asian bank.
- The scammers reportedly impersonated Corcoran’s assistant and wrote an email to the bookkeeper, asking them to wire the funds to a German company called FFH Concept.
- To all the initial queries, the scammers responded smartly with more detailed information and an explanation about the invoice.
Barbara Corcoran is one of the investors on the popular show Shark Tank, who also describes herself as an “NYC real estate queen.”
An expert argued that firms cannot rely on human intuition alone to stop such scams. And that this incident clearly shows that phishing emails are not always easy to spot.
On the other hand, Corcoran took to Twitter to write a short message about the incident, “Lesson learned: Be careful when you wire money!”
More on BEC scams
Scammers certainly put in plenty of work ahead of time researching and knitting their fraudulent messages, which are often indistinguishable from legitimate ones.
According to some experts, many companies invest in employee security training to prevent such attacks but this incident shows that humans are not reliable enough to accurately identify malicious emails.