Edmonton businesses receive bomb threats as part of North America-wide hoax

The incident has meant schools in Jefferson County have been put on lockdown

Image Schools in Jefferson County were put on lockdown after a bomb threat at Columbine High School

The extortion emails demand that recipients send $US20,000 in Bitcoin to particular a Bitcoin address.

Police in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, reported similar email threats received by several businesses there but had found "no credible evidence any of these emails are authentic".

Winnipeg officers are going to each business that has been threatened and are taking necessary precautions.

"Several area businesses are receiving what appears to be a robo-email saying there is a bomb threat to their business unless they pay money in Bitcoins". "Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing".

Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on a PC motherboard
Image The email threats demanded payments of $20,000 in Bitcoin

"We are aware of threats being made in cities across the country", Rukelt Dalberis, an Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman in Los Angeles, told Reuters separately. And a quick Google search for "bomb threat" shows an ever-increasing list of cities spanning the nation reporting more of the same.

Calgary police responded to 15 locations that had received bomb threats on Thursday before determining there was no risk to the public.

The scam threats, delivered by email, demanded ransom payments of bitcoin in exchange for the non-detonation of bombs.

Other police departments from across the country have provided similar updates.

Calgary police have determined the multiple bomb threats sent out are a hoax and believe there is no threat to public safety.

According to the release, individuals in these university buildings received the message, which was sent by email: Rider Building; University Park Airport; Tyson Building; Johnston/Findlay Commons in East Halls; the Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building; Henning Building; Redifer Commons; and the Greenburg Complex.

Five different companies in Montreal received threatening emails, but police say nothing suspicious was found at any of the locations. "These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time".

The emails claim that an explosive device was hidden and "covered up carefully" in the building in question.

Multiple bomb threats were reported in Lancaster County as well, according to ABC27.

The Raleigh, North Carolina office building housing the News & Observer was also evacuated Thursday afternoon after the newspaper received a bomb threat via email.

Security researchers tracking the Bitcoin addresses spotted in today's spam campaign said they haven't seen anyone make a payment yet.

Police departments in several Canadian and US cities said on Twitter that the threats include a demand for payment in bitcoin currency.

Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jason Robillard tells CNN that businesses have received threats.

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