Bomb threats emailed to multiple locations across the country, including Memphis

Memphis Police

Dozens of institutions across the country received email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

Memphis Police confirmed Thursday that threats were received locally, but the department said each location was checked and no devices located.

According to police, Memphis locations that received threats were:Trust Federal Credit Union,  3617 Winchester; 4048 Senator St.; Principle Toyota, 7370 Winchester Road and Peifer Safe & Lock, 3747 Cherry Road.

Police in Ripley, Tennessee also confirmed a threat was investigated at Ripley Gas and Water.

The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said the email message received by one Memphis business indicated that a mercenary had hidden an explosive device in the business’s building. The sender threatened to detonate the device unless the business pays $20,000 in Bitcoin by the end of the day.

Multiple businesses in several states have reported receiving the same email, the BBB said.

At this time it unclear if the threats — which have been received at locations throughout San Francisco, at the University of Washington in Seattle, and at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, among other places — are connected. The FBI said it is aware of the threats and is working with law enforcement to provide assistance.

“As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities which could represent a threat to public safety,” the FBI said.

Authorities say bomb threats sent to dozens of schools, universities and other locations across the U.S. appear to be a hoax.

The New York City Police Department said the threats sent Thursday were meant to cause disruption and compel recipients into sending money and are not considered credible.

The Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, Washington and the Park Record newspaper in Park City, Utah also received similarly threatening emails. People have been allowed back inside buildings at those locations, according to tweets on their verified Twitter accounts.

In California, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office had “an influx of email threats” and is taking them seriously, although no threat has been substantiated.

The San Francisco Police Department responded to reports of bomb threats at locations throughout the city.

“We have received information that several other cities across the United States have received similar threats,” police said.

Pennsylvania State Police are “investigating some bomb threats in the eastern part of the state,” a spokesman for the department tells CNN.

“Penn State University Police, in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is investigating a message received by individuals in multiple locations on campus and across the state,” the university said in a statement. “Police say this does not appear to be a legitimate threat, however, an investigation is ongoing.”

University police later said the threat appears to be a hoax.

Email threats have also been received in Canada.

Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jason Robillard tells CNN that businesses have received threats. He is not aware of any buildings that have evacuated.

The Chicago Police Department received 15 to 20 reports of emailed threats in the past few hours, according to Officer Jennifer Bryk.

Director of Communications Anthony Guglielmi tweeted, “#ChicagoPolice are working with federal partners on the investigation, and at this time there is no elevated threat level for the city of Chicago.”

Threats were also emailed to locations in New York City and Atlanta; the Charlotte News & Observer and the Raleigh News & Observer newspapers in North Carolina; and three sites in Miami.