Bitcoin scams take a dark turn with bomb threats

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Fazeel Ashraf
IT graduate from Pakistan’s National University of Science and Technology with a passion for writing. When not reading or writing, I can be found listening to rock and metal or playing some classic jams on my electric guitar. I’m also a big fan of horror movies.

Bitcoin scammers have taken an extremely dangerous method of extorting Bitcoins. They have started sending bomb threats to several businesses, schools, hospitals, and government buildings across the US. The identity of these scammers is unknown. They sent emails to these various organizations demanding $20,000 in Bitcoins.

A spokesperson from the FBI told TNW,

“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.”

The threat has been sent via email as a cryptocurrency extortion scam. A tweet by a user shows the bomb threat he received:

This has to be confirmed by media sources, but police departments across the US have confirmed receiving similar threats. It seems the threats are fake luckily.  Security experts could not connect the cryptocurrency wallet address in the email to any records. Law enforcement agents searching buildings where threats were sent have so far found no explosives.

Despite not finding any bomb threats, the FBI takes such matter very seriously. Perpetrators can be given life sentences. FBI warns the public to report any such threats or emails immediately, and everyone should treat such threats with extreme caution.

Just yesterday, Facebook HeadQuarters received a bomb threat at their Menlo Park building. So the offices had to be evacuated immediately. Luckily the threat turned out to be a hoax. Facebook employees were sent back to their offices and not all the buildings needed to be evacuated.

The reason why the bomb threat was made is still unknown.

In related news, an unknown person called in a bomb threat to Columbine High School earlier today in the state of Colorado. It is unclear whether this threat had something to do with the Bitcoin scam or if it was a separate matter entirely.

Authorities are unsure if this threat was related to ongoing extortion scams, but the threat was later declared false.

NBC News reports authorities are still investigating bomb threats in Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and California. The bomb threat is appearing quite high on Google’s search results and is propagating in various cities across the US.

2018 continues to be a dangerous year for people’s security and everyone is afraid for their lives. Due to such circumstances, everyone is advised to take great precaution when in public. Do not give importance to such threats unless a security official has given an official statement.

Despite some threats being fake, proper precaution is still necessary. Even if it isn’t something as life-threatening as a bomb threat, Bitcoin scams have become commonplace on Twitter.

Many accounts having millions of followers were hacked on Twitter including Target and Google G Suite. The accounts were trying to scam followers by entering them into a fake Bitcoin giveaway. It seems very few people fell for the fake giveaway, but since the tweets were sent from official Twitter accounts, some users might have fallen for it.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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