A Pearl Harbor Witness and World War II Veteran Was Scammed Out of His Life Savings

Shameless scammers stole the life savings of an Arizona Navy veteran who witness and survived the Japanese attacks at Pearl Harbor. He also bravely fought in World War II where he flew missions over both fronts.

Holder was just 18 years old when he witnessed the attacks on Pearl Harbor. It was a shocking devastation that he will never forget even now at the age of 94. Fortunately Mr. Holder remains in strong health.

During his service in WWII he flew a B-24 in the Battle of Midway and eventually over the English Channel. Upon the conclusion of his military career, Holder lived and worked all over the world in various industries. His resume included business in the oil, airline and even professional golf world. All of the global experience makes it even harder for Holder to come to terms with falling victim to such a common scam.

The scam was initiated by a man pretending to be from the Publisher’s Clearing House. The person called his home telephone number in Chandler and declared that he had won $4.7 million coupled with a brand new Mercedes Benz. Holder confirmed that he had in fact entered their drawings many years ago. He was told that they did keep entries for many years to come.

Click here to donate money to Jack Holder

After telling Holder what he had won, the scammer explained that he needed to pay taxes before he could accept his winnings. They asked Holder to open a new bank account, where they deposited funds, and then asked the 94-year-old to mail checks to New York. When funds started to appear in the new account it was not actually from the Publisher’s Clearing House. It was simply money that the scammers had transferred out of the couple’s savings account. Therefore, when they mailed checks, they were in reality mailing their hard earned savings away.

Both Holder and his fiancée, Ruth Calabro, complied by sending multiple checks that amounted to a total of $43,000. It was not until the thieves requested an additional installment of $100 bills to be placed into the pages of a magazine that the couple knew they had been scammed. Despite contacting Bank of America as soon as they realized, the bank said there was not much they could do to recover the lost funds.

Holder and Ruth are devastated over the unforeseen turn of events, and he cannot believe that he personally fell for it. The fiancée confirmed that the thieves took all they had. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has started to conduct an investigation, but Holder is not too confident that he will ever get his money back.

The couple has had to rent out part of their home to generate some income. Furthermore, Holder has decided to go back to work. He quickly enrolled in real estate school, and has passed two of three tests required. His hope is to make back all the money that was stolen from him.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE