ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department is warning residents of a phone scam targeting older people. Police said the scammer attempts to convince the victim to wire money in Bitcoin.

Police said detectives responded to an incident where an 86-year-old Albany man received a call from a person claiming to be a law enforcement official in North Dakota. The caller told the victim that his grandson had been arrested and that he needed to bring $5,000 to a gas station in Colonie and deposit the money into a CoinSource (Bitcoin) ATM.

An employee at the man’s bank noticed the unusual withdrawal and contacted the police to prevent him from being scammed. Albany police remind residents to never give any personal information or money to a caller.

The Albany Police Department said law enforcement does not call residents for unpaid debts, bail, or Bitcoin transfers. They will also never ask for financial or credit card information over the phone.

If you receive one of these scam phone calls, you should hang up immediately. To prevent being scammed, you should:

  • Not give out personal, credit, or banking information to unverified sources
  • Be aware of high-pressure techniques, such as the need to give information on the spot
  • Call Albany police at (518) 438-4000 if you believe someone is trying to scam you