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Police: Man posing as military service member scamming local soldiers out of money

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Lawton Police say that a man posing as a member of the military is scamming local service members.

LAWTON, Okla.–Police say a man has been approaching soldiers at three different locations around Lawton and scamming them out of their money.

They say the man is posing as a military member and pulling rank to get what he wants from trusting military service members, and even uses military ‘lingo’ to seem more legit.

It starts with a seemingly innocent conversation, but soon the man has a favor to ask.

Sometimes, he says he needs to get his truck out of impound. Other times, he says he needs a ride to the Welcome Center, or a phone number to the Welcome Center.

He tells his targets that he is a soldier in transit, and depending on who he is talking to, he will use a higher rank than theirs to order them around.

His victims are always service members, according to police. None have been civilians.

In the past, he has taken the soldier to a tow yard where he acts like he is going to pay and then comes back out stating that he is having problems with his card or they aren’t able to release the vehicle.

He always promises to pay the money back, sometimes going so far as to offer to pay back double the money.

Some scammers would never be seen or heard from again after getting cash in hand, but police say this man doesn’t stop there.

The next day, the man calls, saying he’s ready to pay back the money he was borrowed.

But, when he goes to get the money, there is always a problem and he ends up asking for more.

The man keeps this ruse up for several days until the soldier catches on.

The man has been seen at Lawton’s Central Mall, the Sheridan Walmart, and Hastings over the last six months.

Police say he is a black male, approximately 37 years of age, 5’8” and 150 pounds.

He has very short cut hair with a receded hairline, brown hair and brown eyes, and goes by the name of ‘Willie.’

Lawton police say that no one has actually had their money returned to them.

While the man may have been in the military at one time, they say he is not a current member of the armed forces.

The man has been seen at Lawton’s Central Mall, the Sheridan Walmart, and Hastings over the last six months.

 

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