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Arizona Pearl Harbor survivor loses life savings in scam

(GoFundMe Photo)

PHOENIX — A 94-year-old Arizona man and U.S. Navy veteran was the victim of a cruel scam that robbed him of his life savings.

Jack Holder lives in Chandler with his fiancée, Ruth Calabro. They were contacted by someone claiming to be from the Publisher’s Clearing House who told him he won $4.7 million and a new Mercedes-Benz. Holder remembered entering drawings years before and the person told him they keep old entries.

The scammer asked Holder to pay taxes before he could receive his prize, so Holder and Calabro wrote out checks totaling $43,000. They got suspicious after they were asked to provide $100 bills stuffed into a magazine.

The FBI is investigating the scam, but Holder doesn’t think he will get his money back. He is very healthy and has enrolled in real estate school to try to make back some of the money he lost.

A GoFundMe page has been opened to support Holder. The page was set up by the Greatest Generations Foundation. TGGF is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of veterans.

Holder is a member of TGGF and helps coordinate annual return programs back to Pearl Harbor.

Holder survived Pearl Harbor and flew missions over both fronts during World War II. He talked to KTAR in April 2015 about his experience flying in World War II-era bomber after so many years.

Holder had an opportunity to take a ride on the last Consolidated B-24J Liberator bomber still capable of flight during a three-plane tour hosted by the Collings Foundation.

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