UPDATE: Thursday, several locations across the United States received bomb threats through emails or texts.

The Tennessee Valley was no exception with more than 10 locations reporting the threats. All of those bomb threats were cleared.

Law enforcement has told NBC that this has all been a widespread hoax.

At least 21 states and the District of Columbia received the threats by email, text or phone.

In the Tennessee Valley, eight threats were received in Hamilton County putting the Sequoyah Health Center along with surrounding schools on lockdown for about an hour.

Additional threats were received. Two were reported in Rhea County and another in Murray County, Georgia.

Sgt. Jerry Workman with the Soddy-Daisy Police Department said, "They were just asking for money and if they didn't wire the money through crypto-money whatever that is, within a certain time, then a device would explode within whatever building we were referring to."

The crypto-currency was bitcoin. It’s a popular form of digital money that is worth about $3,200 per bitcoin and is nearly untraceable.

Dr. Butch Varner with Miller-Motte Technical College and Bethel University studies cyber security and says if anyone made a payment in response to this threat, they will likely never see their money again.

Varner said, "It's difficult to track bitcoin because computer software is running a large algorithm and so the algorithm is a code. So you would have to be a pretty sophisticated code breaker. But even if you had the right code, the code is constantly changing."

Varner and Workman say to treat any electronic threat as if it is real.

Nationwide, no traces of bombs were found.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: The "all clear" has been given at the Sequoyah Health Center after they had received a bomb threat.

The threat was sent in the form of an email, according to the Soddy-Daisy Police Department.

The health center is located on the same property as Sequoyah High School and Daisy Headstart.

Soddy-Daisy police had Hamilton County Schools put the schools on lockdown while they investigated. 

Another bomb threat was made in Murray County at the courthouse. A bomb dog has been brought in to search the building, which has been evacuated.

Dayton police report that similar bomb threats have been made in Rhea County.

The department said multiple companies in the city have received spam emails saying that there is a bomb threat and asking that money be deposited in a Bitcoin account.

"The emails are originating in Russia and appear to have been sent to a large number of people. We have found no reason to believe the threats are credible," a department spokesperson said.


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said they are aware of the threats in the following statement:

"We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities across Tennessee and around the country, and continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to assist. As always, we encourage the public to join us, by remaining vigilant and reporting anything suspicious to law enforcement."

NBC News reports that bomb threats have been reported at news outlets, government buildings, banks, libraries, schools and other businesses across the US.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says they are aware of the threats.

“We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country... As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety.”

Stay with Channel 3 as we learn more about this developing story.