In another wave of cyber crime that happened this Thursday, extortion attempts have been made in Chicago, as well as Illinois, and across the nation.
A series of email threats has been sent to companies, businesses and other organizations, including schools and even day care facilities, demanding “money to be sent, otherwise an explosive device will be detonated.” Some of those emails had a subject line “Think Twice.” The scammers demanded $20,000 in bitcoin to be sent to their account in order to avoid the explosion.
Several buildings were targeted in Chicago, including the ones located in the 400 block of North Cityfront Plaza Drive in the Streeterville neighborhood, and another one in the 600 block of West Randolph Street in the West Loop Gate neighborhood.
Among other facilities in the city, at least one day care center had to be evacuated – Kiddieland, located on North Cicero Avenue in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. Around 100 kids, from infants to five-year-olds, have been evacuated out of there urgently.
According to the Officer Michelle Tannehill from the Chicago Police Department, those threats were simply extortion attempts, and no actual explosive devices were found in any of the buildings. It was not immediately clear who issued the threats, and why, but it seems the targets were deliberately picked, rather than randomly selected. Among other Illinois locations the threats were sent to were the Aurora City Hall and Rush Copley Medical Center, as well as Wintrust Financial in Rosemont and one more business in Lake Bluff.
Similar email threats were also delivered across the country, including the states of New York, Idaho, and Florida. None of the police departments believe they were credible, although the full results of the investigation have not been released yet.