RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia police say they’ve seen an alarming increase in phone scams targeting senior citizens and convicted sex offenders.

State police say one popular scam features a caller saying a relative has been arrested and needs a substantial amount of money to be released.

Police say they’ve also been getting numerous calls from convicted sex offenders in northern Virginia who are being told there is a warrant out for their arrest.

The sex offender is advised not to call state police and that the only way to take care of the warrant is to pay off a fine. In both scams, the scammer provides instructions on how the payment should be submitted, usually through a gift card or similar payment to a specified account or name given by the caller.