Vermont Public Radio just happened to be in the midst of a pledge drive right around the time that former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was found out to be a hypocrite who not only was a client of the prostitution rings he prosecuted, but also paid for these flings by using a method of payment that he helped crack down on. I ended up listening to the Upstate New York station that was embroiled in Spitzer’s ordeal.
So here is what I learned: His basic plan was to make large payments–such as $4500 for a prostitute–in several smaller transfers. This is supposed to keep large amounts of money from popping under the radar of certain software that looks for fraud and corruption. Of course Spitzer should have know that these same computer programs look for these smaller transactions as well, and that of course is how he was found out.
At this point in my life, we’re not exactly rich, but we do have to keep an eye on our account balance during the beginning of the month because our mortgage payment is taken from our account on the first of the month. This means I need to be careful not to pay all of our other bills at the same time, and so I pay extra attention to our account balance at this time of the month.
Since I planned on going grocery shopping this afternoon, being the member of our household who works in town, I looked up our latest statement online and noticed something that didn’t quite look right: a series of transactions, all for the same amount, all going to the same place that I didn’t recognize.
Spitzer! I thought.
The very same kind of fraud Spitzer fought and then used to his own advantage had been used on us on a very small scale. Thankfully everything is going to work out and my card has been canceled. However, if it had not been for Eliot Spitzer, I may have questioned my hunch that this was a scam. Perhaps I just paid a bill and it got applied in a strange way?
No siree! Thanks to Spitzer I spotted a fraud and quickly took action.