Courtesy of GoFundMe

The Deceptive Ploy that Robbed the Ragles of Their Life Savings

In an unsuspecting turn of events, Vicki and Sarah Ragle, a mother-daughter duo from Lakewood, Colorado, fell prey to a cunning hacker’s nefarious scheme. The unsuspecting retirees, a former teacher and her daughter, had their email chain, which involved the title company, breached by the fraudster, leading to the wiring of nearly $200,000 – the totality of their life savings – to the scammer’s account.

The Heart-Wrenching Fallout of the Duplicitous Con

With just two days left before the closing of the purchase of a townhouse, the Ragles received emails – seemingly similar to those from the title company – requesting the payment. Driven by the sense of urgency and a desire to meet the deadline, the Ragles wired the money as instructed, unaware that they had just walked into a well-laid trap. The title company never received the funds, leaving the Ragles in a gut-wrenching state of despair.
The aftermath of the scam saw the Ragles lose not only their life savings but also the townhouse they were planning to purchase. The devastating reality hit hard, with Vicki, now homeless and broke, expressing her feelings of hopelessness: “All I could think is now I’m homeless and broke. I’m 69 years old and now I’m broke and homeless,” she said, her anguish too much to bear.

The Quest for Justice – The Investigation

Once they realized they had been swindled, Sarah wasted no time in reporting the case to the Lakewood Police, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of a long and challenging road, with the Lakewood Police grappling with a case that was entirely alien to them. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations quickly identified the scam as a “business email compromise,” which involves the use of fabricated emails to gain control of people’s finances. Shockingly, in 2022, the FBI received a total of 504 complaints of business email compromise, costing Colorado victims $54 million.

The Ripple of Hope – Community Support

In a heartwarming turn of events, the Ragles’ story of loss resonated with their community, with one of their friends setting up a GoFundMe page to help them recover from their financial devastation. The response was overwhelming, with a total of 2,700 donations amounting to $130,165, a testament to the kindness and generosity of the community.

The Lesson – Vigilance and the Fight Against Fraud

The Ragles’ story is a stark reminder of the lurking dangers of online fraud and the need for utmost vigilance when it comes to online security. It is essential to authenticate the legitimacy of emails before sending any funds and to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities promptly. This incident should serve as a clarion call for the fight against business email compromise and the need for comprehensive measures to curb such fraudulent activities.