HomeTechnologyCybercriminals Send Bomb Threats to US Stores, Demand Bitcoin Payments - UnlistedNews

Cybercriminals Send Bomb Threats to US Stores, Demand Bitcoin Payments – UnlistedNews

The last weekend of June turned out to be quite hectic for US law enforcement after a series of bomb threats were made via calls to different companies across the country. Demanding payments in Bitcoin along with a bunch of gift cards, these notorious actors allegedly said they were going to drop bombs on major American retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Meijer. While law enforcement authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are investigating the incident, the callers have not yet been identified.

A call made to Chicago-based Whole Foods demanded that the recipient transfer $5,000 (roughly Rs. 409,775) in the form of Bitcoin. Based on Bitcoin’s current price of $30,449 (roughly Rs 24.9 lakh), the caller might have managed to get 0.17 BTC to make up for the substantial amount. If the demand was not met, the caller said, a pipe bomb would blow up the store, which it did not.

Another terrifying call was made to a Meijer grocery store in Wisconsin, demanding $5,000 worth of Apple gift cards (approximately Rs. 409,775), a report by The Wall Street Journal stated.

The calls that were made were reportedly initiated with a ‘block number’ configuration layer that hides the identities of callers.

No bomb explosions were reported at any of these sites over the weekend, giving police reason to believe these calls were a hoax. The FBI is working with local law enforcement officials at those locations to find out if these calls are unfounded and part of an organized criminal effort.

This is not the first time that anti-social elements have demanded Bitcoin while making threats. In 2022, for example, cyber criminals breached the systems of Oil India Limited (OIL) and demanded $7,500,000 (roughly Rs. 61,51,31,250) in the form of Bitcoin as a ransom.

In November last year, hackers who gained control of patient data at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) demanded Rs. 200 crores in the form of Bitcoin.

Typically, criminals who demand crypto payments in exchange for ransoms aim to make off with the funds anonymously.

Most of the time, they put their loot in crypto privacy mixers like Tornado Cash and convert their tokens into some other cryptocurrency from a pool before sending them to the destination wallet addresses. This breaks any chain of traceability that investigating officers might discover.

Crypto ransoms can also be transferred to international locations instantly, again, with a layer of anonymity.

Since cryptocurrencies are not centralized or controlled by any financial institution, their exploitation by criminals is a matter of great concern to governments around the world.

The illegal use of cryptocurrency reached a record high of $20.1 billion (roughly Rs. 1,64,895 crore) last year, a recent report by Reuters had claimed earlier this year.

Several nations are now working on creating rules to govern the crypto sector, so that through taxes and KYC paperwork, among other solutions, a trail of transactions can be kept with more privacy than traditional banks offer.

Affiliate links can be generated automatically; see our ethics statement for more details.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments