Retailers facing new kind of theft: Bomb Threat Extortion

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Retailers are dealing with a different kind of theft than the typical shoplifter—they are facing bomb threats.

WHY IT’S NEWS
So far, these threats have been empty, but such a serious claim must always be treated as if it is true, leading to store-wide evacuations and closures for the remainder of the day. The repeated loss of revenue for an entire day can strain the retailer, not to mention the mental and emotional stress put on employees who have to experience the threat.

Businesses, schools, and entertainment venues have been dealing with a growing number of false bomb threats related to scammers and hacking groups over the years. However, bomb threats with a related ransom are more unusual and are now growing more common, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Major retailers are working with law enforcement to decide how to handle these scammers. The FBI says it is working with local authorities in the affected areas to catch the attempted scammers.

Local officials have difficulty tracing the callers because they often use blocked phone numbers. Whether or not these scammers work alone or are part of a larger group is unknown. So far, stores have not received multiple calls. A few did not demand ransom, only made a threat.

Officials continue to take each call seriously and ask that businesses not give the callers money. Staff who may speak to one of these callers should try to get as much information from the scammer as possible, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bomb threats with ransom demands began several months ago but have increased since spring. Some callers have demanded hundreds of dollars, others thousands.

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Retailers facing new kind of theft: Bomb Threat Extortion

PLEASE LOGIN TO VIEW THIS CONTENT

NOT A MEMBER? JOIN TODAY!

Retailers are dealing with a different kind of theft than the typical shoplifter—they are facing bomb threats.

WHY IT’S NEWS
So far, these threats have been empty, but such a serious claim must always be treated as if it is true, leading to store-wide evacuations and closures for the remainder of the day. The repeated loss of revenue for an entire day can strain the retailer, not to mention the mental and emotional stress put on employees who have to experience the threat.

Businesses, schools, and entertainment venues have been dealing with a growing number of false bomb threats related to scammers and hacking groups over the years. However, bomb threats with a related ransom are more unusual and are now growing more common, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Major retailers are working with law enforcement to decide how to handle these scammers. The FBI says it is working with local authorities in the affected areas to catch the attempted scammers.

Local officials have difficulty tracing the callers because they often use blocked phone numbers. Whether or not these scammers work alone or are part of a larger group is unknown. So far, stores have not received multiple calls. A few did not demand ransom, only made a threat.

Officials continue to take each call seriously and ask that businesses not give the callers money. Staff who may speak to one of these callers should try to get as much information from the scammer as possible, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Bomb threats with ransom demands began several months ago but have increased since spring. Some callers have demanded hundreds of dollars, others thousands.