Police: Bomb threats sent to businesses nationwide likely a hoax

Police: Bomb threats likely a hoax
Posted at 2:52 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 16:52:16-05

An email sent to businesses and organizations across the country on Thursday appears to be a hoax, authorities from the New York Police Department said. 

According to NYPD's Twitter page, the email, which prompts victims to make a Bitcoin payment, is a scheme to either "cause disruption and/or obtain money."

Police in New York said they have searched various places where the email has been sent, and no devices have been found. NYPD said they will continue to respond to calls for service if anyone receives a threat. 

Authorities in other states have conducted similar searches. Police in Tennessee said they believe the email originated from outside of the United States. 

The FBI issued the following statement:

"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."

Among locales that have received threats include major universities such as Penn State and South Florida.

"Penn State University Police, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating a message received by individuals in multiple locations on campus and across the state," the university said in a statement. "Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing."

"USFPD is working a number of bomb threat calls from emails sent on campus," the University of South Florida tweeted. "There have been similar threats to several locations around the country.  No credible threat found at this point. We encourage you to be vigilant & call with anything suspicious."

In Detroit, county government offices received the threat. In nearby Ann Arbor, a radio station also received the threatening email. 

A business in Tennessee has shared a copy of a threatening email it received Thursday afternoon.