In the age of scams, one man fights back

  • Blog Post by: James Eli Shiffer
  • June 7, 2010 - 9:50 AM

After a phone call and a fax promised him $2.5 million in lottery winnings, Bill Grasavage did more than most people to fight an obvious scam. He called the bank to confirm the check shown on the fax was phony. He called the cops. Then he called Whistleblower.

“I have to apprise the public,” said Grasavage, 73, a retired federal employee who lives in Minneapolis. “It’s like driving your car down the highway and you see someone lying on the side hurt. You don’t have to stop and render assistance. If you don’t, then you’re not really human.”

These days, scams are everywhere. This newspaper's Sunday business section seemed to be the Sunday Fraud section, given tales about a white-collar fraudster recently released from the pen, the fleecing of Best Buy with the help of an insider and a financial columnist almost taken in by the "friend in dire straits abroad" swindle.

In Grasavage's case, the fax from “Monthly Winners Club Ltd” tries to get its victims to wire $275.99 in “tax and insurance fees.” The man who answered the Las Vegas number on the letter gave Whistleblower three different names and claimed he didn’t know anything about any lottery. Right.

Why are there so many scammers these days?


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