Local government premises and schools in Japan have been being hit by various extortion attempts from someone demanding bitcoin payments, threatening to detonate explosives if the demands are not met.

According to Japan Today, the threats have been received in at least 18 prefectures since July, and city halls and schools have been the main targets of these threats. The threats come via email and demand varying amounts of BTC to avoid the detonation of the explosives.

In one case in Yamagata City, the demand was for over 40 BTC, at press time worth over $450,000. The report details the extortion attempts target isolated cities in relatively rural areas in the country, such as Tara, Saga, Minami, and Niigata.

Japan Today theorizes the bitcoin extortion threats are coming from outside of the country, although it doesn’t provide any evidence to back up its claim. None of the victims, according to the report, have so far paid the extortionists any BTC.

Bitcoin extortion bomb threats are nothing new. The pseudonymous cryptocurrency has been used in the past by extortionists looking to earn BTC – often with empty threats. Austria, for example, has also received similar bomb threats, in which the extortionists were demanding $20,000 in BTC.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Kindergartens, malls, and courts in some of Russia’s largest cities were evacuated numerous times late last year as the country was being plagued by anonymous bomb threats.

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