The world is becoming more advanced and so are scammers, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get your money stolen the good old-fashioned way.

“Face-to-face fraud is one of the oldest ways of manipulating people that are out there,” Sergeant Walker Woods with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office said.

One Mount Juliet resident sought advice on Facebook after an encounter with a suspicious woman in the TJ Maxx parking lot.

She said the woman appeared visibly pregnant, claimed to have three children, and said she needed money to pay for a hotel room.

In the comments, at least four other women share nearly identical stories. Almost all of them paid the woman what she was asking for.

“Women are certainly a higher probability to fall victim to things like this,” Sgt. Woods explained, “particularly when you're dealing with pregnant women or children. It really plays to a mother's maternal instinct.”

One woman on the thread says she called the Hampton Inn in Lebanon to ask if the alleged scammer was really staying there. The desk had to record of her.

“You have to trust yourself,” Sgt. Woods said. “If you're ever in a situation where something feels wrong or off, you need to listen to yourself.” He said if you are approached by someone who seems suspicious, redirect them to resources rather them giving them money.

Here are some local resources to Wilson County he recommends:

  • Project One Wilson
  • Compassionate Hands
  • Next Step Resource Center

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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