Individuals and organizations all around the world are receiving emails that claim that an explosive device has been placed in the buildings they work in.
The threatening emails demand that recipients pay $20,000 in Bitcoin to stop the bomb from detonating. The sender warns that if police are involved or the recipient does not pay, the bomb will explode.
The threats have sparked a nationwide police investigation across the US and many businesses, schools, and office buildings have been reportedly evacuated as a precaution.
The FBI has released the following statement on the issue:
We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety
Oklahoma City Police note in a tweet that no credible threat has been found so far.
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
And NYPD notes via Twitter that “While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found.”
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. pic.twitter.com/7omOs13Z7Q
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 13, 2018
The scam emails have caused massive disruption around the world. As noted, no devices have yet been found despite thorough searches in many different locations that have received the messages.
While all bomb threats, however unbelievable they may be, must be taken seriously, it appears that this email campaign is likely just an amazingly ill-conceived attempt by online criminals to panic recipients into sending money.
An example of the email:
Do not waste your time
Hello. I write you to inform you that my mercenary carried the explosive device (Tetryl) into the building where your company is conducted. My recruited person built an explosive device under my direction. It can be hidden anywhere because of its small size, it can not damage the structure of the building, but you will get many wounded people in the case of its detonation.
My man keeps the area under the control. If any unnatural behavioror policeman is noticed the bomb will be blown up.
I can call off my recruited person if you pay. You send me 20.000 $ in Bitcoin and the bomb will not detonate, but do not try to cheat -I guarantee you that I have to call off my mercenary only after 3 confirmations in blockchain network. My payment details (btc address)- 1P3cNFy3SdfZ8PvMSdgLRcb2TtaLvxfqat
You have to solve problems with the transfer by the end of the working day, if you are late with the payment the device will detonate.
Nothing personal this is just a business, if I do not receive the bitcoins and the bomb explodes, next time other companies will pay me more money, because this isnt a single incident.
For security and anonymity , I will not log into this email. I monitor my wallet every thirty-five min and after receiving the money I will give the command to my man to get away.
If a bomb blows up and the authorities see this message:
We arent a terrorist society and dont assume responsibility for acts of terrorism in other buildings.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!