Numerous bomb threat reports surfaced on Tuesday where Bitcoin scammers asked schools, businesses, and other organizations to pay $20,000 in BTC to ensure that the bombs are not detonated.

The threats were sent via emails in multiple countries. The authorities have claimed that no actual bombs have been found in connection yet.

A New Spin on an Old Scam

Extortion in Bitcoins is nothing new. Last year, the world witnessed the WannaCry ransomware which asked users for a Bitcoin payment after holding their devices hostage.

There were numerous reports about people receiving fraudulent emails and calls that threatened them with dire consequences if Bitcoin payments were not made within a set time.

The new bomb threat emails are working on the same pretext, asking users for Bitcoin payments for not detonating a bomb in their premises.

Law enforcement authorities have confirmed that no real explosive devices have been detected in connection with the emails.

The New York Police Department tweeted on Thursday:

“Please be advised – there is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment. While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted, and NO DEVICES have been found.”

What Do the Emails Say?

The emails say that a bomb has been planted in a person’s office or building and if they fail to make a payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin by the end of the day, the bomb will be detonated.

The emails were sent to several schools, universities, courthouses, media outlets, and private businesses and some of these buildings were evacuated as a result.

The scammers also provided Bitcoin addresses where the money must be sent, and these addresses have varied between emails. According to the Verge, at least three different Bitcoin wallets could be connected to these bomb threats.

The FBI also spoke on the issue, stating that they are aware of the bomb threats and are in touch with law enforcement.

As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety,” the FBI noted in a statement.

Similar threats have been reported in New Zealand as well as Canada.

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