[In the player above, watch previous coverage on unlicensed Bitcoin ATMs seized in Northeast Ohio, which authorities said were being used in scams.]

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — The state is warning Ohioans of a “growing trend” of cryptocurrency scams that target older adults.

“Despite the fact that older adults are more likely to report suspected fraud than younger adults, scammers are finding new and sophisticated ways to deceive people, like these emerging cryptocurrency scams,” Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel J. McElroy is quoted in a Friday news release.

“I encourage older Ohioans and their loved ones to make it a point to stay up to date as these threats evolve; learn about the latest types of scams, share that knowledge with friends and family, and always check financial statements to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.”

The scams have been discovered during state drug investigations, and often involve victims paying the scammers in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, sometimes at a special cryptocurrency ATM.

Federal authorities last month announced the seizure of dozens of unlicensed Bitcoin ATMs in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties, which were being used in scams.

Types of scams

A public bulletin issued Friday by the Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center and the Ohio Department of Aging breaks down the types of scams targeting older Ohioans and offers tips to defend against them:

Romance scams: The scammer meets the target online or on the telephone, develops a relationship with them, then requests money.

Government impersonation scams: The scammer pretends to be from a government agency, calls the target and threatens to arrest them if they don’t pay up immediately.

Cryptocurrency ATM scams: The scammer persuades the target to withdraw money from their bank or investment accounts, then deposit it using a cryptocurrency ATM or to buy, then transfer cryptocurrency using a code sent by the scammer.

“Pig butchering” scams: The scammer gains the target’s trust through social media or dating apps then persuades them to invest in a fraudulent website or application which reports false returns. They may also demand fees from the target before they can access the returns. After the fees are paid, the scammers cut contact with the target.

Read the full bulletin below:

How to identify and prevent scams

Legitimate businesses do not demand payment in the form of cryptocurrency in advance of a purchase or to protect your money, advises the Federal Trade Commission. If someone you met on a dating site or app is encouraging you to invest in cryptocurrency or asks you to send them cryptocurrency, it’s likely a scam.

Those who want to legitimately invest in cryptocurrency should first search online for the name of the company or person and the name of the cryptocurrency, along with terms like “review,” “scam” or “complaint” and see if others have reported being scammed, the commission recommends.

Don’t click on links in text, email or social media messages that you didn’t expect — even if they seem to come from a company you know, the commission recommends.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

There are several state and federal resources for those who believe they’ve been the target of a cryptocurrency scam.

Learn more about scams targeting the elderly on the Department of Aging website. To be connected with your local organization on aging by phone, call 1-866-243-5678.

Go here to report a scam to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Here are some more federal resources: