Shark Tank Email Spam—How Not To Fall Victim Barbara Corcoran Style

In February 2020, the “Shark Tank” show judge, Barbara Corcoran, was a few seconds away from losing $380.000—she fell victim to a phishing email scam. The Shark Tank spam email was heard nation-round. 

Unfortunately, such scams are anything but rare. Over $10.2 million in losses were reported as a result of this type of scam. 

If you want to learn how to protect yourself from similar phishing attacks, DoNotPay has got you covered.


What Was the Shark Tank Spam Email About?

The type of scam that Barbara faced is called a phishing attack. The phisher used an email address that is but a single character different from her assistant’s email address. 

The Shark Tank spam email contained an invoice for $380.000, justified as renovations costs. As Barbara is the owner of a real estate agency, at first glance, the charge seemed legit.

Her accountant made the payment to the false renovations company from Asia. Fortunately, at the last moment, Barbara and her associates figured out that something was fishy there. A few hours before losing the $380.000 forever, Barbara managed to stop the transaction through her bank. 

Shark Tank Email Spam Was a Phishing Attempt—Here’s What It Means

Phishing scam attempts are based on attackers baiting you into thinking that the message you received comes from a valid service that you use and pay for regularly. The email is usually sent from an address resembling the address of the real company. Scammers most often use a sender address with a single character different from the address of the actual merchant. 

The email also contains either a false account to wire money to or a link to a fake website where you need to “update” your billing and personal information. By falling for this, you provide the attacker with full access to your accounts and money. 

Why Did the Shark Tank Spam Email Almost Work?

Nowadays, our information is spread across different websites and networks. Social engineering the practice of making a collage of that information and making qualified conclusions about the scam victim so that a phishing attack has more chances to succeed.

Following the Shark Tank email spam example, from services offered on Barbara’s company website, the attacker could have assumed that renovations are something she makes payments for on a regular basis.  

The attacker could’ve learned who Barbara’s assistant is from LinkedIn. They probably educated themselves on her writing style and the terminology her assistant uses from the wording in her Facebook or Instagram posts. From the Location tags of the company employees’ photos during working hours, they also likely concluded in which area a company is doing business. 

Additionally, the scammer could’ve purchased a low-cost service to get the company to send them an invoice. As a result, they knew what the actual invoices from that company look like and succeeded in making the fraudulent invoice look as similar to the real one as possible.

At that point, the attacker had all the info he needed to plot an elaborate scam. 

Shark Tank Spam Email—How To Fight Phishing Scams?

Phishing is one of the most refined scam schemes in existence. It combines social engineering with posing as a valid service. This type of attack will go for the services you usually pay for in your everyday business. 

To stay safe from phishing attacks—such as Shark Tank email spam—you will first need to learn what they are and what weaknesses they rely on. Do not worry, DoNotPay’s knowledge base is at everyone’s disposal:

To keep yourself protected, you will also need to:

  1. Verify if the sender is indeed a trusted person
  2. Never, ever, share your billing or personal info via email or on shady websites
  3. Install phishing filters and keep your antivirus up to date 
  4. Use Multifactor Authentication wherever you can

Verify The Sender

It certainly seems too tiresome to check each and every email sender and compare it with the sender address from earlier communication. It’s advisable, though, to triple-check this whenever login, payment, or personal information is concerned. 

Avoid Sharing Your Personal and Billing Information Online

Avoid sharing your personal information during calls or online. When paying, search for trust symbols and verify all other points from this guide are respected. Always make sure that you are paying to an actual company and not an innovative scammer. 

Install Phishing Filters on Your Email Client and Web Browser

Phishing filters are far from a catch-it-all solution, but they will reduce the number of scam messages in your inbox significantly. 

Use Multifactor Authentication 

This will make the scammer’s job much harder as, along with the email address, they will need to imitate the password reset or verification code transmission. Again, be very careful that the link where you enter the verification codes is a valid service URL. 

DoNotPay—Artificial Intelligence System Protecting You From Phishing Attacks

If you’re sick of spam emails from compromised accounts, you should consider using DoNotPay’s service. You can block these accounts in a few steps and join any class action suits against the offender

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Log in to DoNotPay from your web browser
  2. Create an account and log in
  3. Find the Spam Collector option on the left
  4. Enter your email address to connect it with DoNotPay
  5. Forward the spam email to spam@donotpay.com

After completing the steps, the app will block emails from the offender’s account. You will be notified about a class action lawsuit you can join if one has been filed against the sender. By joining the class action, you become eligible to earn from the awarded damages or the settlement cash. 

What Are the Signs Of a Phishing Email?

Here are a few signs that will uncover a phishing scam attempt:

  • Scammers use a different email address or phone number compared to the one you provided to the company
  • The received message is different in tone and style from the earlier messages you got from the company
  • The message asks for personal or billing information (account password, credit card number, CVV code, mother’s maiden name, etc.)
  • The URL is not an exact match to the company’s website 

Clean Up Your Physical Mailbox With DoNotPay

The risks of scam via physical mail are indeed smaller, but paper mail spam is so much more irritating than the electronic counterpart. Our DoNotMail feature will help you put an end to that too. All you need to do is send us a photo of the unsolicited real-life mail, and we will take care of the rest. 

Here is all you need to do:

  1. Select the DoNotMail feature on the DoNotPay portal
  2. Click Enroll Now 
  3. Upload the photo of the unsolicited post

Again, in case that there is a class action suit against “old-fashioned spammers,” you might earn in the process. 

What To Do if You Receive a Scam Email 

If you receive a scam email, don’t give in to panic. Scam emails are not a joke, but they are also not a big deal if handled appropriately. 

What To Do When You Receive a Scam Email

Report it 

The first order of business is to report unwanted messages. By reporting a spam email you will stop receiving messages from that address. Also, you will protect not only yourself but other users, as well.
Never provide personal details 

Scammers use emails to trick you into giving them your important data. Phishing may also include attachments or links to update your payment details or provide additional info. Be advised that legit businesses will never ask for your personal data.

Use DoNotPay

By using DoNotPay, you will get unsubscribed from an unwanted mailing list. Also, you may receive compensation if there’s a class-action suit against that sender.
Delete it 

When faced with an unsolicited email, at least delete it without responding or clicking on any links/attachments. 

How Else Can DoNotPay Assist You?

DoNotPay is dedicated to making your list of chores more bearable and your life more enjoyable.

We can help you:

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