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Scam artist targets soldiers

LAWTON, Okla._The Lawton Police Department is warning everyone about a man who has been scamming soldiers over the past six months.

Lawton police say the scam artist has been known to approach soldiers at Central Mall, Hastings and the Wal-Mart on Sheridan Road. He strikes up a conversation by saying he needs to get his truck out of impound, needs a ride to the Welcome Center or needs a phone number to the Welcome Center.

The man then goes on to say he is a soldier in transit and sometimes says he has a higher rank than the soldier he’s talking to and will try to give them orders. All of his victims have been soldiers.

In the past, he has gotten rides to a tow yard, goes inside and acts like he’s paying and then comes out and says he’s having problems with his card. He promises to pay the victim back, sometimes double, and mentions his wife is not in Lawton yet and is sending him money via Western Union.

The scam artist follows up with his victim the following day and says he has the money. When he tries to use his card, there’s another problem and he asks for more money.

On two occasions he has told his victim that he won a jackpot, but needs help paying the taxes on his winnings.

He usually keeps his stories going on for three or four days before his victim catches on they will not be repaid.

The scam artist is described as a black man, approximately 37 years old, 5’8” and weighs 150 pounds. He has short, brown hair with a receded hair line. He has brown eyes and uses the name Willie.

Lawton police are not aware of anyone being paid back after giving Willie money. His cover story is not true and he is not in the military.

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