Local businesses receive hoax email bomb threat

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Hoax bomb threats that reportedly swept through the United States were also reported in Shelby County.

Capt. Jay Fondren with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said one such threat was reported to the SCSO, while another was reported to the city of Columbiana.

According to reports, people affiliated with businesses, schools and colleges received emails about a bomb that had been placed in a targeted building that would be detonated unless funds, typically $20,000 in cybercurrency, were transferred to the originator.

There were no reports of actual explosives nationally or locally.

Fondren said SCSO detectives investigated the local threat and found no explosive device.

“We were not aware until (Dec. 13) that this was a multi-state issue,” Fondren said. “Since then, we’ve not had any others reported to us, or aware of any.”

Paul E. Daymond, public affairs officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Birmingham Division, encouraged residents to remain vigilant.

“We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance,” Daymond said. “As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Anyone who receives such a threat should contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 669-4181 or their local law enforcement agency.