Shark Tank investor and real estate legend Barbara Corcoran recently admitted she fell hard for a classic case of email fraud and ended up losing almost $400,000.
The perpetrators researched details of her company, and then submitted an elaborate fake invoice and emails purportedly from key assistants. They convinced Corcoran’s staff to wire the funds to an Asian bank, ostensibly to fund an ongoing European real estate project. The only clue that the whole thing was an elaborate fraud was a fake email address, off by one letter.
Corcoran went public with the story to help warn others about how easy it is to fall for a cyber-sting.
Fortunately for Corcoran and colleagues, the story has a happy ending. After Corcoran publicized her ordeal, bankers in Europe were able to stop the wire before it reached its finally delivery point. Corcoran got all her money back.
Financial Planning Tip: When you ask us to wire money from your account, we have to go through some fairly elaborate procedures to make sure you have authorized the wire and the transfer is legitimate. Bear with us; it’s for your safety. Corcoran’s experience shows how even the savviest shark investor can fall prey to even bigger predators.