Waterloo region businesses affected by 'think twice' bitcoin scam

An email hoax sent to two businesses in Waterloo region appear to have been part of a larger North American scam.

Threats targeted schools, businesses and public areas across North America

Emails with the subject line "Think Twice" were sent to business across Canada and the United States. (Shutterstock)

Two businesses in Waterloo Region received internet threats Thursday that appear to be connected to an elaborate hoax where the scammers demanded bitcoin.

Emails with the subject line "think twice" were sent to business across Canada and the United States.

Ashley Dietrich, public information officer with Waterloo Regional Police Service, said the force received two reports of threats.

"We are continuing to investigate the threats and continue to monitor the situation," Dietrich told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. "Similar threats have been made across Canada and the U.S."

Multiple locations targeted

Threats were reported at multiple locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton — targeting schools, businesses and public areas.

Police forces in major cities across Canada and the U.S. are reporting no signs of explosives after a wave of bomb threats Thursday.

Authorities say it appears that in all cases, the email was an extortion attempt, demanding $20,000 US in bitcoin. Public Safety Canada urges Canadians to follow the direction of local law enforcement, and report anything suspicious to them.