Bitcoin bomb threats sweep US, Canada, but lack credibility


"You pay me $20'000 in Bitcoin and explosive will not detonate, but don't try to fool me". The Cedar Rapids Police Department in Iowa, Oklahoma State Police, the New York Police Department and a subway station in Toronto have reported the scam. "At this time, police say the threat appears to be part of a national hoax, however, an investigation is ongoing". In a tweet, USF police said the agency was "working a number of bomb threat calls from emails sent on campus".

What should I do if I receive one of these emails?

Boston police told WBZ-TV multiple businesses in the area received emailed bomb threats.

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WBOC's Salisbury offices had to be evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a bomb threat hoax that authorities say has targeted other businesses on Delmarva as well as many other locations across the country. These emails demanded $20,000 in BTC for the supposed bomb not to explode, and how the email threat spread isn't clear. MSP Fusion, a business based in Boston, also received the threat, according to WCVB.

"We are aware of threats being made in cities across the country", Rukelt Dalberis, an Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman in Los Angeles, told Reuters separately.

The Vermont State Police and FBI are investigating.

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According to reports, an email has been sent to several institutions, including hospitals, by the perpetrators claiming that a bomb has been carried onto their business premises, adding that it could not damage the supporting building. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has for instance designated cryptocurrencies as a payment system while the Australian government has legalized bitcoin and stated that "it can be used just like money".

The bomb threats also prompted evacuations at city hall in Aurora, Illinois, the offices of the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, a suburban Atlanta courthouse and businesses in Detroit. "The threats are also being reported to other locations & are NOT considered credible at this time".

Dryden Police, in a release issued on Friday, said the business in question recognized the email as spam, reported it to police and did not turn over any currency to the scammers. Sgt. Seth Tyler said the Chandler Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau is continuing to investigate, but the business is now open and operating as normal.

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