The Summit County Sheriff’s Department reported that a local business received an emailed bomb threat on Thursday afternoon.
The news from the county matched similar reports of threats made in countless other locales in Utah and around the country.
The Sheriff’s Department issued a statement that at 1:23 pm an email threat was received by a business in the Silver Creek Business Park—not far, in fact, from the Sheriff’s office.
Lt. Andrew Wright told KPCW that the email was similar to others being reported. The message said there was a bomb in the building and demanded a payment in bitcoin.
Responding deputies found no identified devices or confirmed threats. Lt. Wright said there have been over 50 threats reported in Utah alone.
Sheriff Justin Martinez, appearing on the Local View with Randy Barton, said when the first report of a threat came in Thursday, they believed it was an isolated incident.
“It started off when the call came into Park City we were notified, we offered our support.” Martinez said, “Then I got a call from Wasatch County saying that they got the same thing at their government building. As we started hearing more, we hear it was in Idaho. As the information started trickling in, we find out this occurred all the way from New York to San Francisco across the entire nation. Nobody’s too little, no not at all. They’re looking for that person that has $10, $10 million. They really don’t care because it’s a numbers game to these scammers to see how many people they can get.”
He said it’s scary, when the modern age of the internet and social media can allow threats to be made widely and anonymously.
The Sheriff said there’s also a reason that the ransom is demanded in Bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is not traceable, that’s the thing it’s an untraceable form of exchange.” Sheriff Martinez says that they’ve had people fall for it, “Yes, absolutely. You can get on Bitcoin exchanges all over the internet all you have to do is type in a Bitcoin exchange. You can give them your credit card and get access to Bitcoin. Then you can take that information and you can upload it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who fall prey to scams just like this. The general thing that I from understanding, they were asking for 20,000 in Bitcoin. There were no established bomb threats from any of them, but I don’t know how many people actually uploaded Bitcoin thinking that they were going to get caught.” Martinez says that there are other scams around bitcoin that people get tricked by. “Something pops up on your computer, I know what websites you’ve been, we’re going to expose you, we know who you are. Don’t do it, unfortunately some elderly get caught up in it.”
The Sheriff’s department is asking anyone who has received a similar bomb threat to contact them at 615-3600.