Multiple businesses in Salem and McMinnville including a school has received various threatening emails about an explosive device on Thursday morning demanding recipients pay $20,000 to an anonymous Bitcoin address.
The threats which appeared to be a nationwide electronic hoax aimed at taking money from universities, businesses, schools and news outlets in multiple cities in California, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.
Law enforcement officials across the country responded to the threats, stating that no explosive devices have found in connection to the messages.
All the emails are very similar, though the bitcoin wallet changes between messages, which allows the person or persons responsible to discover who has paid. The named explosive type also varies, with tetryl, tronitrotoluane [sic], and hexigen all appearing.
The threat email reportedly read:
“My man carried a bomb (Hexogen) into the building where your company is located. … I can withdraw my mercenary if you pay. You pay me 20.000 $ in Bitcoin and the bomb will not explode, but don’t try to cheat – I warrant you that I will withdraw my mercenary only after 3 confirmations in blockchain network.”
The NYPD and several other police departments have dismissed the threat as a hoax, but not before a number of buildings and locations were evacuated.