Q13 FOX News reporter
Lakewood Wa - Con artists claiming to be from a military charity group called Freedom United States have been running a scam in Lakewood, playing on people’s emotions to donate money supposedly to honor fallen soldiers. The money goes into their pockets instead.
Lakewood police were trying to track them down Monday, when the con artists were going door to door in Lakewood seeking donations.
“They are hitting at people’s hearts,” said homeowner Robert Pagan, who got a knock at his door Monday from a man who said he was collecting money for military care packages in honor of fallen soldiers. “It actually almost made me fall for this, unfortunately.”
“How much dirtier can you get?” asked neighbor Joe Smith, whose wife wrote out a check for $40 to the man and then realized it was a scam. “It’s like a slander to the deceased, which is kind of disgusting.”
The man said he was accepting checks for $40 to $300 for the packages.
Smith said he began pressing the man about the charities and questioned his story about having recently enlisted in the National Guard.
“Being active Army, I told him go around the street and I wanted to call his recruiter and check in with him,” Smith said.
That's when Smith said the guy took off, running down the street carrying a binder full of checks.
A similar group has hit communities in Montana and Florida, according to Internet reports.
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