Police are warning senior citizens in Middle Tennessee after a 77-year-old woman was tricked into withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account.
The elderly victim told Nashville's News 2 Investigates she believed the two men who knocked on her door were policemen because of the way they were dressed and because they were equipped with portable radios.
“Often when a person assumes a position of authority they are called a 'Badge Player' because they try and give the impression they are with a police department,” explained Lt. Grant Carroll.
He continued, “They will call each other by rank, such as investigator, detective, lieutenant, sergeant thus to give the impression they are with the police.”
Investigators have since determined the men involved in the crime never identified themselves as police.
Lt. Carroll added he believes the men further gained the victim's confidence by displaying her bank statement which was likely stolen from her mailbox.
Police said the men tricked the woman into believing someone was trying to take money out of her account and that she needed to get to the bank and make the withdrawal first.
“The banks cannot stop someone from willingly withdrawing money from their own account,” Carroll said.
According to police, the thieves drove the elderly woman to her east Nashville bank where they furtively exchanged the $11,000 in cash in a bag with envelopes.
Police said by the time the woman realized what happened, it was too late.
The recent incident is the first report of this type of scam in the Nashville area.
Officers remind everyone that real law officers would not ever ask a citizen to withdraw money from the bank while investigating an alleged crime.
Anyone with information on the event is urged to contact Metro police or Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.