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Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran confirms she lost nearly $400K in a phishing scam

Posted at 9:27 AM, Feb 27, 2020

Barbara Corcoran, a real estate developer, investor and star of the ABC show Shark Tank, says she lost nearly $400,000 in a phishing scam.

According to ABC News, Corcoran's bookkeeper received an email that appeared to be from Corcoran's assistant. The email asked if the bookkeeper could approve payment to a German company called FFH Concept.

Though the email looked legitimate, the message wasn't coming from Corcoran's assistant. It was coming from a hacker.

Corcoran's bookkeeper questioned the message at first and responded to the email asking how the fee should be paid. After receiving a detail explanation of what to do with the money, Corcoran's bookkeeper paid the "bill."

It wasn't until the funds were transferred that the bookkeeper noticed that the email addressed that asked for the funds was missing an "O" from the address.

Corcoran later tweeted about her mistake, calling it a lesson learned.

"Be careful when you wire money!" she said.

Phishing scams occur when hackers — disguised as coworkers or technology or financial institution — request personal information or money through email or messaging apps. Experts recommended double-checking email addresses and hyperlinks before providing any sensitive information to others online.

Corcoran is far from the first to fall victim to a phishing scam. In 2016, the chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign fell victim to a phishing scam, allowing Russian hackers to access his emails. Russia then provided those emails to WikiLeaks, who published them online.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.