LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan State Police and Attorney General Dana Nessel are warning Michiganders to be aware of common cryptocurrency scams, as they typically target older, vulnerable adults.

For those who don’t know, cryptocurrency is a digital currency. The most popular ones are Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) but there are thousands more.

Nessel says to be wary of anyone who asks you to go to the bank and:

  • Withdraw cash at a branch you don’t usually use
  • Lie to branch tellers about why you are withdrawing money
  • Leave a cell phone call “open” or keep a call going so the caller can give you instructions during the transaction.

“Cryptocurrency is a new, complex market that causes confusion among even seasoned investors, and bad actors are exploiting this arena to victimize people of all ages,” said Nessel in a press release. “Residents should be wary of unsolicited requests from strangers on the phone or internet, and especially requests to make bank withdrawals or deposits at cryptocurrency kiosks or Bitcoin ATMs.”

Legitimate crypto investment opportunities will not come from strangers you’ve never met before, Nessel said. Be wary of anyone asking you to invest through social media platforms such as Facebook.

Governmental entities, like the Michigan State Police or FBI, will never ask you to assist in a criminal investigation by giving them money or cryptocurrency. Be wary of people asking for your IP address or anyone asking you to open a cryptocurrency account.

“Fraudsters are utilizing cryptocurrency scams to take advantage of residents in Michigan and elsewhere, often without any interaction from the victim,” said D/F/Lt. James Ellis, commander of MSP’s Cyber Section. “Online exchanges are being exploited more frequently with the account holders crypto being stolen, like a bank robber stealing funds from your banks safe, but much easier. Bad actors are also calling and emailing victims directly duping them out of their crypto and cash with get rich schemes, romance scams, or by creating false emergencies that must be dealt with immediately, playing on victim’s emotions. Use common sense; legitimate organizations will not ask you to withdraw cash from your bank or for login details for your cryptocurrency or online accounts. Never allow anyone you don’t know remote access to your computer or accounts when they offer assistance to help.”