British Columbia

Police say don't pay bitcoin ransoms as wave of North American bomb threats hits B.C.

Dozens of bomb threats were reported in major cities across Canada and the United States on Thursday. None have been deemed credible by police, and Canadian and U.S. authorities said they believe the messages were hoaxes.

VPD and RCMP say don't pay ransoms for bomb threats; U.S. consulate issues security alert

Vancouver police say anyone who receives a bomb threat email demanding a Bitcoin ransom should delete it, unless they have specific security concerns. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

RCMP and Vancouver police say anyone who receives an emailed bomb threat demanding Bitcoin should not pay the ransom.

Dozens of bomb threats were reported in major cities across Canada and the United States on Thursday. Officials from both countries said they believe the threats — clumsily written emails demanding $20,000 US payments of bitcoin — may be connected.

None have been deemed credible by police, and Canadian and U.S. authorities said they believe the messages were hoaxes.

RCMP in B.C. retweeted a message saying Mounties are aware of the threats, adding Canadians should not pay the ransom if they have received such a threat.

The Vancouver Police Department echoed the advice, saying anyone who receives an emailed threat should delete the email, unless they have specific security concerns.

"We are liaising with local and national partners to try to determine the origin of the emails," spokesperson Jason Doucette said in an email.

"No credible information has been located to suggest there is a risk to the public here in Vancouver."

Earlier Monday, Penticton RCMP said it was aware of bomb threats to several car dealerships in town. It evacuated neighbouring businesses and closed off part of a street.

The U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver has issued a security alert due to the wave of bomb threats sweeping North America.

The consulate said it is aware of 15 bomb threats in British Columbia.

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