In an attempt to extort money, spammers are sending threatening emails to schools, business, and government offices in different countries like US, Canada, and New Zealand.
They are demanding Bitcoin in exchange for not setting off a supposed bomb.
While there’s no conclusive evidence of any real explosives being placed somewhere or detonated, it’s definitely causing panic among people leading to several evacuations.
All the emails had different subject lines and variations in text, but they all carried the same threat. Blackmailers threatened to blow up a certain workplace or building unless they were paid an amount equal to $20,000 in Bitcoin to a specified Bitcoin address.
Here’s a picture of one such email in the tweet below:
So I actually just got a bomb threat in my work email today ordering me to send the person $20,000 via bitcoin or they will blow up my place of work…. 2018 is wild pic.twitter.com/sn0vVLwe6v
— Ryan (@TheeRyanGrant) December 13, 2018
Meanwhile, different state police have issued statements declaring there is no actual evidence of bombs and the emails seem to be fake. So they have asked the masses to remain calm and cautious.
At this time, it appears that these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money. We’ll respond to each call regarding these emails to conduct a search but we wanted to share this information so the credibility of these threats can be assessed as likely NOT CREDIBLE.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 13, 2018
Law enforcement investigations are currently investing the potential threats across the US, Canada, and New Zealand and probably other countries too where such emails appeared.
We're working a number of bomb threat calls in OKC. There have been similar threats called into several locations around the country. No credible threat found at this point. We encourage the public to continue to be vigilant and call with anything suspicious.
— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) December 13, 2018
Cybersecurity researchers are currently tracking the Bitcoin addresses mentioned in the spam emails but none of them have received a payment yet.
Law enforcement agencies and security experts are advising receivers of such emails not to panic and not to pay the ransom demand.
Scams like this one are rarely credible but given that nothing is impossible, everyone is requested to take a moment before panicking and responding to such threats.