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A Nationwide Bomb Threat Email Demanding A Bitcoin Ransom Has Panicked People Across The US

"At this time, it appears that these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money," the New York Police Department said.

Posted on December 13, 2018, at 5:24 p.m. ET

.@SFPD is shutting off Sansome Street between California and Clay and evacuating Financial District office buildings due to a bomb threat in the area. Bomb squad enroute.

An emailed bomb threat demanding a ransom payment in bitcoin has hit schools, businesses, government facilities, and other locations all across the US, causing widespread panic and evacuations from coast to coast.

The threat is not considered to be credible.

"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," tweeted the Oklahoma City Police Department.

New York's counterterrorism force also said multiple locations in the city had received the email. "These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time," the agency tweeted.

"At this time, it appears that these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money," the New York Police Department said. "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."

The emails appeared to be similar in nature with slight variations. In some, the subject line read, "Think twice"; in others: "Use your time wisely."

The body of the emails also appeared to have slight variations but the same general threat and demand.

"Hello. There is an explosive device (Tetryl) in the building where your company is conducted," began one email.

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

"Good day. There is the bomb (Hexogen) in the building where your business is located," began another.

UPDATE: We now know some businesses and schools in the Palm Desert area received bomb threat emails. Authorities believe it is not a credible threat, but they are taking all credible precautions. This was the email. More information to come tonight at 5 on @NBCPalmSprings.

The email goes on to ask for $20,000 to be transferred in bitcoin to an online account. "You must transfer money by the end of the workday, if the workday is over and people start leaving the building explosives will detonate," the email read.

In town after town, city after city, police departments responded to calls, oftentimes from multiple locations within a small radius.

In San Francisco, the Jewish Community Center was evacuated after it received the email. One City Plaza in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, was also evacuated. Campus and schools were on also lockdown in across the country, including Niagara County Community College in New York and Penn State University in Pennsylvania.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was "aware of recent bomb threats" and encouraged "the public to remain vigilant & to report suspicious activities."

The threats terrorized — and confused — some people.

my school has a bomb threat and we’re on lockout i’m so scared

I texted my brothers that there was a bomb threat at the hospital I work at and I feel nauseous and don’t know what to do with myself. Their responses are as follows: Joseph: wow crazy, watch Narcos Mark: take a nap P.s. I’m fine, it’s just scary you can’t feel safe anywhere

Others thought a fake bomb threat asking for bitcoin was an apt ending to 2018.

Nothing says 2018 quite like bomb threat spam for bitcoin.

Bomb threat spam. 2018 is just great. https://t.co/sedWxZyBnr


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