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A Retired Teacher and Her Daughter Were Scammed Out of $200,000 Over Email: 'I'm 69 Years Old and Now I'm Broke and Homeless' The mother-daughter duo was in the process of buying a townhouse when their email chain with the title company was hacked.

By Sam Silverman Edited by Jessica Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtesy of GoFundMe

A retired teacher and her daughter are speaking out after they were scammed out of nearly $200,000 over email.

Lakewood, Colorado residents Vicki and Sarah Ragle were in the process of buying a townhouse when they claimed their email chain with the title company and realtor was hacked, tricking them into wiring their life savings to a scammer, they explained to local news station Fox 31 Denver.

Two days before closing on a property, the mother-daughter duo said they received emails nearly identical to those from the title company requesting $196,662.81 before the closing or the deal would be off. They did as they were told, but when they showed up at the closing, the title company said they had never received the funds.

Once they realized they were the victims of a scam, Sarah immediately contacted Lakewood Police, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

Vicki lost the townhouse and her life savings in the ordeal.

"All I could think is now I'm homeless and broke. I'm 69 years old and now I'm broke and homeless," Vicki told the outlet, adding that she walked out of the title company and threw up.

Vicki, a single mother of two, retired from teaching middle school in July. "I've been saving for a while, that's all I had," she said.

RELATED: I'm a Business News Editor, and Even I Fell Victim to an Online Scam That Cost Me $300

The Lakewood Police said they are investigating the case but have never dealt with anything like this before.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigations identified the scam as a "business email compromise," in which someone uses fake emails to gain control of people's finances. The FBI said it received 504 complaints of business email compromise that cost victims $54 million in Colorado in 2022.

A friend set up a GoFundMe, which has already received $130,165 from 2,700 donations, to help the mother and daughter recover from the loss.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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