Fraudsters and cheaters beware — Dale Goldhawk has your number.

A passionate defender of consumers’ rights for more than four decades, Goldhawk has led a lifelong crusade to put right the wrongs done to people by bad circumstances, greedy tricksters and sometimes even the law itself.

As host of the now-legendary consumer advocacy show Goldhawk Fights Back, the spry and sharp-witted 66-year-old broadcaster is just as passionate about consumer rights as he was the day he stepped out of journalism school in 1967.

“Chasing the bad guys and helping the people and issues who fall through the cracks is what I do. I don’t know how to do anything else,” Goldhawk said.

In his career Goldhawk has championed issues as big as stopping a dump site from being built on top of a town’s water supply to helping a listener procure a long-awaited prosthetic leg.

He says one of his proudest victories was helping prove that the deaths of three RCMP officers who all contracted the same rare brain cancer were the result of hazards in the federal building where all three had worked. While the deaths were originally ruled accidental, Goldhawk’s investigative work showed that the contaminated air in the aging Toronto building was to blame and the government agreed, granting the families of the deceased Mounties full compensation.

Goldhawk says he never intended to be a trailblazer when he started out, he just fell into advocacy work because it was something he felt was right.

In the early days, the culprits Goldhawk called up were shocked that he and his team would actually bother to hound them on someone else’s behalf.

“Back when we started there was no such thing as an ombudsperson — we had to explain what we were doing. We annoyed and pursued so many companies that people would ask why we cared,” Goldhawk said.

Along with the radio show Goldhawk Fights Back, which airs Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on The New AM 740, Goldhawk also hosts Goldhawk Live on Rogers Television every Sunday at 8 p.m., where he tackles current affairs with interviews and a call-in format.

As a proponent of a no-nonsense approach to journalism, Goldhawk says he sometimes feels modern journalists are “too wimpy” and focused too much on neutrality at the cost of making a real impact.

“I think we could use a lot more journalists who are not so accepting of the status quo. You’ve got to get off your ass and into the streets — you’ve got to have an edge. Real news is what people don’t want you to know,” Goldhawk said.