[Square & Compasses]
From: "Hiram Newsletter" <gradyh@gte.net>
To: " The Masonic Community "@smtp1.mailsrvcs.net
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 07:59:48 -0400
Reply-To: gradyh@gte.net

Attempted Flim Flam of Masons

SUBJECT: Beware of Flim-Flam Artists who Claim Masonic Affiliation
From: RonNBower <RonNBower@aol.com>



Once again our fraternity is being accosted by several flim-flam artists that operate as a well informed team to deceive and defraud our Lodges.

On Tuesday, May 12th, a person claiming to be "Brother" George Schaffer from upstate New York contacted the Secretary of one of our Lodges in the Western Region of New York State. According to the secretary, this alleged "Brother" stated that the Worshipful Master of another New York Lodge in the Western Region had been taken to the hospital in serious condition. Supposedly, his family was enroute to the hospital to attend to the Worshipful Master's needs.

This so-called "Brother" named Schaffer claimed that the Master's family are presently stranded in the Western part of the state due to trouble with their car. Schaffer requested assistance from our Secretary to obtain a wire- transfer of money from either a local bank or Western Union Office. Our secretary provided the telephone numbers and addresses for a bank and Western Union Office near his home. Schaffer said that he would proceed to make the arrangements directly with the bank and Western Union.

Shortly afterward, Schaffer calls our Secretary back to say that things did not work out favorably with the bank or Western Union. Schaffer then asked if the Secretary or the Lodge could give $60 in cash to the family and they would mail a check to reimburse the Lodge immediately. Schaffer stated that Mr. Norman Andrews would come by the Secretary's house to pick up the money.

Our Secretary became suspicious and told Schaffer that he was not prepared to give any money to someone he did not know and some whom he could not vouch for as being a Brother Mason. At this point, Schaffer abruptly hung up the phone. He has not been heard from since.

Our Secretary has correctly reported this matter to the local police department and to the bank. We later found out that the Master of the Lodge was never in the hospital and that the whole story was a fabrication perpetrated by some scam operation.

Please get the word out to be wary of such con artists. Always check with your District Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Lodge before you give money to a total stranger who claims to be a Mason.

In the recent past, people using the alias Manning, McCormick, Williamson, Reid and Sullivan were preying upon the good character and charity of our members. Apparently, these crooks are back again.

If someone using this ploy or a similar story approaches you for aid and assistance, immediately contact your local police department.

With kindest fraternal regards,

Richard W. Bateman, Assistant Grand Secretary
Grand Lodge of New York, cc: GM, DGM, GS

An offer of assistance in distinguishing the needy brother from the con-man.
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