Hacked: Candia Fisher, 64, of Manhattan, New York, is part of the Fisher Brothers real estate family and most of her business is conducted online
Manhattan billionaire’s obsession with e-mail may have just cost her half a million dollars.
Candia Fisher, 64, a member of the storied Fisher Brothers real-estate family, is such an e-mail fanatic that she conducts most of her business over the Internet and saves each missive, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday.
And that made her ripe for the picking by a computer hacker — who last week managed to access her personal e-mail account and swipe enough personal information to masquerade as the real-estate heiress to even her closest confidants, the sources said.
Posing as Fisher, the cyber-thief ordered her secretary to wire boatloads of dough overseas to banks in Australia at least six times, nearly once every day, last week, the sources said.
In all, the hacker was able to steal a total of $548,725 before a company financial secretary finally questioned Fisher about the wire transfers Monday around 4 p.m.
The bewildered billionaire said she knew nothing about them.
Two hours later, a Fisher Brothers security investigator alerted the cops, sources said.
“Ms. Fisher relies on e-mails all the time,” a source told The Post. “So it’s easy for someone to learn lots of things about her if they get access to them.”
Authorities were scrambling to put a hold on the final wire transfer of $176,000. It was not clear if they were successful — or if any of the other money would be recouped, either.
A spokesman for the Fisher family declined to comment to The Post, citing the ongoing investigation.
Fisher is the daughter of Martin Fisher, one of the founders of the family firm.
The company started out building homes across the city before switching to commercial real estate.
Candia, a socialite as well as businesswoman, owns at least two homes in Connecticut — one in Westport and another in Stamford — and was a producer of the Broadway show “Equus” featuring “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe.
She also is not the first Fisher to be the victim of a theft plot.
Her doyenne mother, Emily Fisher Landau, a well-known arts patron, was the victim of armed bandits who broke into her Upper East Side apartment in the 1960s and made off with millions worth of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious gems.