SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Paradise woman who lost everything in the Camp Fire is getting kicked again in an insurance scam.
Getting ready to buy a condo in Ojai where she grew up, Colleen Kahle’s life was finally looking up.
“We were finally going to have some permanence,” she said. “Everything had felt so temporary.”
She lost her home in Paradise where she raised her own kids, having only minutes to get out.
“You never expect to have lost everything,” Kahle said.
Moving in with relatives in Ojai once her insurance money came in, she decided to buy the two-bedroom condo.
“We were within a week of closing and I got an email from my escrow agent that the sellers wanted to close early,” she said.
The email claimed she could save money if she wired the money. So she did, making two six-figure wire transfers a day apart.
“$408,000 and it was everything we had,” Kahle said.
She learned it was a fraudulent account, despite that email having the correct names of her escrow officers, the purchase price and the address of the condo.
What Kahle didn’t notice was that the sender was using a Gmail address rather than the escrow company’s official email.
Ojai police say the thieves likely hacked into the escrow company’s database.
People need to really, really be careful.
Colleen filed a report with the police and the FBI and continues to live with family.
It really makes my heart hurt that someone could be so evil, and I don’t know where we go from here.