Breaking Story: Bitcoin Scammers Email Bomb Threats, Causing Evacuations Across The U.S.

Kevin O'Brien

Numerous evacuations have taken place across the United States on December 13th after scammers sent bomb threat emails demanding bitcoin payment to a number of businesses, companies, schools, and other entities, according to reports.

No Evidence of Explosives Yet

As of press time, authorities indicated there is not any evidence so far of any explosives detonating or actually being placed. However, police are asking people to remain vigilant as they work through the threats.

It is not yet clear how far the email threat has spread, but law enforcement in numerous jurisdictions across the country have released statements on social media and other outlets about the situation.

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation said it is aware of the threats and remains in contact with law enforcement across the country.

 

 

Speculation is the messages are robo-emails that were sent out in a group. The New York Police Department indicated on Twitter how it looks like they were sent to “cause disruption and/or obtain money."

 

 

Bomb Threats Asking For $20,000 In Bitcoin

A number of people on Twitter posted screenshots of the threatening email sent by the bitcoin scammers.

 

 

The email is printed in an article by Heavy.com.

It begins declaring that “my mercenary” has placed a bomb in “the building where your business is conducted” that would wound many people upon detonation.

In order to “call off my man,” a payment of $20,000 in bitcoin must be made to an address listed in the message. The scammer says the guarantee to not detonate “will become valid only after 3 confirmations in blockchain.”   

Different Versions Of The Messages

According to The Verge, there seem to be multiple versions of the email, some of which list a different type of explosive material.

The actual bitcoin wallet also looks to vary across messages. The Verge also wrote that it was able to confirm at least three wallets. It is not yet clear if anyone has actually paid the ransom. 

UK's Biggest Travel Company Starts Accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash Payments

Corporate Traveller, the United Kingdom’s biggest travel company, has recently started accepting bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) payments, in a move that could be followed by the Flight Centre Group, one of the world’s biggest travel firms, embracing crypto payments.

According to Australian news outlet Micky, Corporate Traveller’s move to accept both bitcoin and bitcoin cash was announced yesterday, and came due to increasing demand from its clients. The firm, with 20 locations across the UK, is the country’s largest business travel services provider.

Speaking to the news outlet, Corporate Traveller’s UK general manager Andy Hegley stated:

We identified an increasing demand from our clients for the option to pay in Bitcoin for business travel bookings made by our travel consultants.

The company is accepting cryptocurrency payments through a partnership with BitPay, which processes them for it and converts the funds to GBP it then receives within two business days. According to Hegley, BitPay was chosen as it manages the entire process, so Corporate Traveller only handles GBP.

He added the blockchain industry is “growing exponentially” and, as such, the company is “excited to be able to” gives its clients bitcoin and bitcoin cash payment options. Per Micky, the UK firm's move could be part of increasing cryptocurrency adoption, with Flight Centre looking to accept BTC and BCH as well.

An unnamed source reportedly told the news outlet the company’s executives are taking note of “increasing demand from clients for cryptocurrency payments,” and as such is “exploring options to accept bitcoin at its 1,239” retail travel agencies throughout the world.

An employee at an Australian Flight Centre travel was quoted as saying:

All the time people ask if we accept Bitcoin… Mainly international students and tourist already here trying to book more flights.

The travel agency employee reportedly added the company’s management is aware of the demand, and will “probably see how it goes at corporate Traveller, before they let customers pay with bitcoin.”

The tourism sector is notably leading in cryptocurrency adoption. Travala, a blockchain-based bookings website, recently $2.6 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) last year, and currently has bookings at over 500,000 hotels throughout the world.

In an exclusive interview with CryptoGlobe Jeff Klee, the CEO of travel booking firm CheapAir, revealed that accepting bitcoin was one of the “best decisions” he’s ever made.