Counterterrorism authorities have said that a series of bomb threats reported across the
United States today appear to be a hoax. The threats came through spam emails targeting schools, media outlets, police departments, and other organizations, demanding the recipients provide payment in the form of cryptocurrency. Some of the emails had the subject line: “Think Twice” or "We can make a deal".
Numerous posts have been uploaded to social media outlets today regarding the incidents. Information about areas, schools, and businesses that have received the email have ranged from New York, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and even Arizona.
Several posts of the emails have been posted to social media. “I write you to inform you that my man has carried the bomb (Tetryl) into the building where your business is located.” On of the emails read. “If any unusual behavioror cop is noticed the bomb will be exploded…20’000 usd is the cost for your life. Transfer it to me in BTC…” the message continued. “This is just a business, if I do not see the bitcoins and a bomb detonates, other companies will transfer me more money, because it isn’t a single case.”
Several schools and businesses around the United States were evacuated in response to the threats. Including Dixie State University where students taking final exams were evacuated from the testing center while local authorities inspected the area. Once authorities ensured the area was safe, students and faculty were allowed to re-enter the facility. Additionally, according to the Verde Independent, which serves the areas of Cottonwood and Verde Valley, police and emergency responders were called to the Yavapai County Annex after a bomb threat email was received by the Cottonwood Assessor’s Office, the Sedona Police Department, and a Prescott-based newspaper. While no official confirmation has been made, some have even speculated online that the threat and subsequent lockdowns in and around Columbine High School earlier today may be related to today's email threat hoax.
Tom Scott, a popular YouTube personality shared a screenshot of the email hoax, and tweeted "The Bitcoin-spam-scammers have moved on from fake blackmail threats to fake bomb threats. So far no-one's paid anything to the address, and I suspect it'll stay that way."
Another Twitter user wrote "Awwww. I got the #bombthreat too! Thankfully it was easy for me to know immediately that it's b.s. since 1) it went to a biz email I haven't used in over 2 years and 2) I don't have an office. #perksoftheremoteoffice".
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