Spammers are sending a wave of threats to businesses, schools, and other locations in English-speaking countries across the world, demanding bitcoin in exchange for not detonating a supposed bomb.
There’s no evidence of any actual explosives being placed or detonated, but it’s causing numerous evacuations and law enforcement investigations across the US, Canada, and New Zealand — and potentially elsewhere. Police are both investigating potential threats and asking victims to exercise caution.
Several examples of the email threat have been posted online. A typical example, printed by the Cedar Rapids Police Department in Iowa, carries the subject line “Do not waste your time.” Its sender warns that a man has carried an explosive device into “the building where your business is conducted.” (The explosive material appears to vary across messages.)