3 Steamboat businesses targeted by bomb threats in nationwide scam
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — At least three Steamboat Springs businesses and other organizations across the nation received bomb threats Thursday.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Cmdr. Jerry Stabile said the threats came in the form of an email, and the emails demanded money.
He said he could not disclose which local businesses were targeted, but Stabile said there were no evacuations.
Steamboat police talked with the regional FBI office about the threats.
“They were very confident that it appears to be an extortion scam,” Stabile said.
Routt County Undersheriff Doug Scherar said there were no reports of the threat in other parts of Routt County.
Jon Quinn, who runs Northwest Data Services in Steamboat Springs and manages communications services for companies, said one of his clients was targeted Thursday.
The One Steamboat Place condo complex at the base of Steamboat Resort received one of the threats.
The subject line of the email was “no need to be heroic.”
“I write you to inform you that my man has carried an explosive device (Tetryl) into the building where your company is located,” was the first line of the email. “My recruited person built a bomb under my direction. It can be hidden anywhere because of its small size, it can not destroy the building structure, but if it detonates you will get many wounded people.”
The email demanded a payment of $20,000 in Bitcoin currency or the device would detonate.
“It takes that scam to a whole new level,” Quinn said.
Quinn said he put spam filters in place to ensure One Steamboat Place would not receive additional emails from the scammer.
“These days, we see a ton of email scams and efforts to transfer Bitcoin to unknown accounts,” Quinn said.
Sister newspapers owned by the parent company of Steamboat Pilot & Today, Swift Communications, received the threats, but the Steamboat newspaper did not.
Newspapers owned by Swift that received the email included Summit Daily, Vail Daily, Aspen Times and the Park Record in Park City, Utah.
The Park City newspaper was evacuated after the threat was received demanding $20,000 in Bitcoin by the end of the day.
Employees there were allowed to go back into the building after 30 minutes.
On the Front Range, Columbine High School was evacuated after it received the same threat, according to The Denver Post.
As a result of that threat, more than 20 Jefferson County schools were put on lockout.
There were also threats sent to other organizations in Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Broomfield and Fort Collins.
Colorado Springs police received 19 threat reports, according to the Post.
There were reports that the threats were coming from an email based in Russia or Iran.
“It’s pretty scary for sure,” Quinn said. “It takes ransom up to a whole new level.”
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