NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Police have issued a warning about possible scam artists, after a local nurse lost hundreds of dollars at an ATM when she answered a call for help.
The victim was Nurse Charlene Lawrence. She was withdrawing 200 dollars at an ATM inside a local hospital, when she heard someone yelled out that they needed help that another person was bleeding in a nearby bathroom.
"My nurse instincts kicked in and I ran to the bathroom and as soon as I got in there I realized you idiot you left your money at the ATM," she said.
Her receipt was left at the ATM, but that's it. Everything else was gone.
"I obviously didn't see anyone bleeding and when I came out my money was gone and the woman was gone," she explained.
Lawrence thinks it was a crime of opportunity, but police believe it was something else possibly the beginning of scam operation.
"It looks more like a scam than anything else. I guess the reason we're saying that is there is a timing procedure in here," said Metro Police Officer John Patton.
Police believe when Lawrence was withdrawing money someone was watching and waiting for the right moment.
"They waited and they timed it exactly right, right before the machine started spitting out money which diverted her attention. When she went off to help somebody the machine is spitting out money, which means they had to have had somebody there to pull the money out of the machine," said Patton.
Police believe it could be the beginning of a large scam. Lawrence said she may have fallen for it because earlier she'd been in the bathroom and a woman really was feeling ill. That same woman was still in there when she left the ATM, but there was no one bleeding.
"That's the reason I said this maybe a crime of opportunity rather than a scam, but it certainly made me aware of how easy it can happen," said Lawrence.