Catfishing vigilante in the spotlight

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A Tik Tok influencer is in the spotlight here in Lawton after he posed as an underage girl to “expose” men talking to minors.

Bailey Wilson has thirty-six thousand followers on Tik Tok and said he found someone he believes in Lawton through a fake profile.

Wilson lives in Washington and said he created an online profile on a website called “Teen Chat”.

He said he purposely lied on the profile, saying he was a 16-year-old girl because his mission was to catch a predator.

“I posted on social media because I know friends family, like people he goes to school with would see it and know what he’s saying or what he’s done. I also have informed the police about it, I am not sure where they are going to take it, or if they are going to take it but I did give it to them,” Wilson said.

Wilson said a 22-year-old messaged the profile and allegedly told the fake girl he was interested in younger teens. Wilson said he used information from the man to find out he lived in southwest Oklahoma and then made a video to let people know.

“It’s not really about clicks or like social media building or anything like that, it’s because I care about this and I don’t think it’s right,” Wilson said.

Lawton Police Officer Christopher Blessing said they are aware of this video, but they do not encourage people to seek out predators on their own.

“You know you don’t know who you are speaking with we just really stress that you contact us first you don’t want to take the matter into your own hands because you are not a police officer. You leave that kind of stuff to police officers who are legally protected in pursuing this kind of stuff,” Blessing said.

Officer Blessing also said when people take to social media in these types of situations, it makes things difficult for law enforcement to use the information in court.

“Sometimes it can persuade a jury and we don’t want to do that. When it comes to these outside quote on quote catch a predator’s civilians so the important thing is that before anything we have to start the investigation from square one,” Blessing said.

While the video has gained a lot of traction there’s a strong possibility there was no crime because the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.

“So at this time there are no open investigations, now don’t get me wrong it is on our radar and we are aware of it. We don’t know if there is a victim yet, and we don’t know if this predator lives within the city of Lawton,” Blessing said.

The Lawton Police highly encourage people to report if they believe they are being preyed upon on social media regardless of their age.