Bomb threats reported across Canada, U.S. in suspected hoax

Toronto Police say they have received reports of bomb threats, one of several police forces across the continent to have reported so on Dec. 13, 2018. Photo from Getty Images.

North American police forces are dealing with multiple bomb threats that have so far been proven to be unfounded.

Canadian police forces in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and other major cities say they have responded to the threats, but no devices have been found. One of the threats forced Toronto Police to evacuate a downtown subway station. However, Calgary Police say they don’t believe the threats are credible.

“We are currently responding to multiple bomb threats across #YYC. At this time we don’t have any reason to believe they are credible. However, out of an abundance of caution we are treating each as if it is real. We are also aware of similar events occurring across the continent,” Calgary Police wrote Twitter.

Ottawa Police say they have received more than 10 calls regarding bomb threats made via email to local businesses and individuals demanding bitcoin payment. The force adds the threats are unfounded, suggesting this may be part of a “swatting” ploy.

Threats were also made in the U.S., prompting the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to issue a public response.

“There is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment. While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found,” the NYPD tweeted Thursday afternoon.

It appears the threats have been made all over the continent with reports from British Columbia to Florida. Below is one version of the email that is being circulated. It threatens to blow up a building if $20,000 in bitcoin isn’t paid.

Reactions to the suspected scam have been mounting on social media. Here are some of them.

“Nothing says 2018 quite like bomb threat spam for bitcoin,” Beth Elderkin wrote on Twitter.

“Well, that’s a new one,” Lance King chimed in.

“Dumbest thing I’ve seen in a while,” Jake Hanrahan said.