WXXI AM News

Authorities: Wave of hoax bomb threats made across the U.S.

Dec 13, 2018

(WXXI News & AP) A wave of bomb threats emailed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the U.S. triggered searches, evacuations and fear,  but there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt.

There were a number of these email threats to various locations around the Rochester area. Authorities say that they received at least 13 bomb threats in Monroe County.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter says his department and other police agencies will investigate each incident.  

“We are treating each one with due diligence, but also we believe this is a hoax; we found nothing so far that leads to a credible threat here in Monroe County, we just want to emphasize that point.”

Baxter says it does take police resources to investigate the various threats.

“We take each one with care. Each call has a canine available if the preliminary officers determine that a canine is needed to search that location we can use the canine dog; and we also have coordinate with our bomb squad should we find a package or anything we find suspicious. To this date we have not found anything suspicious on any of these calls,” Baxter said.

Baxter says even if the threats are not credible, if you get one of these emails, you should still report it to authorities so that they can log it for possible prosecution in the future.

According to the AP, some of the emails sent around the U.S. had the subject line: "Think Twice." They were sent from a spoofed email address. The sender claimed to have had an associate plant a small bomb in the recipient's building and that the only way to stop him from setting it off was by making an online payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin.