All over Facebook we are seeing stories about a con man working shopping plazas in Rome and Utica. He has convincing stories as he collects your money.

This man pretends to be a former marine who needs just "another twenty bucks or so" to fly his sick mother from down south to Central New York. Only problem, this story changes constantly. His "mother" seems to be dying, sick, or he just needs to get home to her. I've read several complaints then experienced him personally in Utica.

This gentleman followed me around Price Chopper's parking lot telling me his story. I gave the man a dollar, and he insisted he would do pushups for me because he was a marine. I didn't mind losing a dollar, but I keep seeing this story online and pretty sure hes the same guy. He approached me again a week later and little did he remember I gave him a dollar before, when he told me another sob story that didn't match the first. I tried to talk to a manager but by that time he ran off.

In Rome he's usually at FastTrac locations, Price Chopper, Tops plaza, and of course near Walmart in Rome. He's described as an older African American man who seems to be in good shape. When I ran into him, he seemed to me in his 60's or early 70s in age. I've seen him several times and he usually has a ballcap on, and others who have reported him say the same. He is seen in dark hoodies, or a light zip up jacket.

If you see this gentleman, report him to the proper authorities.



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