Bitcoin scammers send a wave of bomb threats to U.S., U.K. and Canada

December 18, 2018
Darya Karatkevich

Last week has marked a wave of bomb threats sent out across the country. First threats started coming out on Thursday, all of them delivered via email, which suggested that an explosive device would be detonated unless $20,000 worth of bitcoin would be transferred to a specific account.

bomb alert

During the investigation of each threat police and the FBI have determined the threats were not credible. The majority of them were targeting local businesses as well as larger public organizations, including even daycare centers and hospitals. It’s not immediately clear who issued the threats, or how the targets were determined by the scammers. It does seem, however, that they were rather picked than randomly targeted. For instance, in Chicago several business centers in the central, upscale area were hit by the scam.  At least one daycare facility was also targeted, among others, leaving 100 kids to be evacuated, from infants to five-year-olds. The more prominent suburbs have also seen the wave of bomb threats, one of them made to evacuate the entire Aurora City Hall and Rush Copley Medical Center.

According to the Officer Michelle Tannehill from the Chicago Police Department, all those threats were simply extortion attempts, and no actual explosive devices were found in any of the buildings.

Similar bomb threats have been sent that same day across the nation, including the states of New York, Idaho, Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and others. At least one similar threat has been reported in the U.K. , and at least five Toronto subway stations were shut down while the authorities were investigating the premises.

It’s not immediately clear how far the scam went on a global scale, and if any of the non-English-speaking countries were targeted, or how much money the scammers actually got in ransom. The only thing is clear – based on a globally-scaled model, it was one of the biggest scams involving bitcoin recently. The investigation is still underway, stay tuned for updates.

Post written by Darya Karatkevich
Darya is a blockchain market observer with 5+ years of experience as an author and editor for major tech blogging platforms. Her fortes are blockchain technologies and solutions, cryptocurrencies and crypto-related regulations.

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