Scam Alert: Bitcoin Scams Targeting Area Residents

INDIANA Co., Pa. – Pennsylvania State Police are advising area residents of recent Bitcoin-related scams reported.

During the course of these scams, victims were contacted via text message and advised of an unauthorized charge or charges to their PayPal account. The victims were then asked to provide the name of their financial institution and were provided with a phone number to call.

Victims were then instructed to withdraw money from their bank account, purchase Bitcoin, and then deposit the Bitcoin into another account.

In the month of October 2021, members of the Troop A, Indiana Patrol Unit investigated at least two such incidents.

Police say on October 20, a Homer City woman reported a loss of approximately $32,000.00, and on October 23, a Blairsville man reported a loss of $7,430.00. In each case, the victims were advised to travel to a location in Westmoreland County to purchase/transfer their Bitcoin.

According to, “Bitcoin ATM kiosks are machines which are connected to the Internet, allowing the insertion of cash or a credit card in exchange for Bitcoin. They look like traditional ATMs, but they do not connect to a bank account and instead connect the customer directly to a Bitcoin exchange for a localized and convenient way to purchase Bitcoin in person. Common locations for Bitcoin ATMs are inside of a retail store, shop, tavern, restaurant, mall or airport.”

Troopers advise residents to discuss this and other common scams with family members and to verify the legitimacy of suspicious phone calls, emails, and text messages. When in doubt, ignore the call, email, or text message and contact a family member or your local law enforcement agency.

Tips for reporting and protecting yourself against common scams can be found on the United States Federal Trade Commission website.

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