Hackers threaten to ‘blow up’ local businesses

For the third time in two days, local police forced people out of a building for their safety due to bomb threats.

Police believe it isn’t someone local. Tuesday it was Turning Point Health and Wellness where someone demanded money in exchange for not blowing up the block.

That’s all police know at this time, and finding the rest of the answers could be harder.

Samantha Behm, Grand Forks resident: “I don’t feel safe knowing that that happened.”

Behm comes to Turning Point each week to get a healthy shake and is feeling uneasy.

Behm: “I think that technology has almost dangered us in that way, and it’s kind of surprising.”

Police think hackers are behind this threat, finding a way to print a note on a printer inside that threatened to blow up the building if they weren’t paid.

Lt. Brett Johnson, Grand Forks Police Department: “It’s probably somebody from overseas or perhaps somewhere else in the nation but likely from overseas. The grammar that’s used in the letters is similar to what we’ve seen in other scams or hoaxes where grammatically things aren’t structured right.”

But still police have to take threats seriously.

Lt. Johnson: “While you’re fairly certain that it’s a hoax, you can’ t be 100% certain so there’s still precautions that have to be taken but these two appear to be hoaxes.”

A similar letter was found on a printer Monday at the Boden Apartments. Again, authorities found no explosives.

Back at Turning Point, landlord Tanner Grimsley wanted to make sure his tenants were safe.

Grimsley: “We actually did a sweep with them, and we also did a secondary sweep as well with other individuals so that we make sure that we kind of go above and beyond what was expected.”

Behm: “It’s just awful. There’s just awful things happening in the world like this everywhere and it’s just not safe for anyone and it’s not fair to us. It’s just not good.”

Police say making threats like these are punishable with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. They say this could be part of a nationwide hoax to scam businesses out of money.

This comes just one day after there was a bomb threat at Walmart in Detroit Lakes. Detroit Lakes police don’t currently believe the two incidents are connected because the two types of threats were different. At Walmart, the threat was made over the phone.

Police are still investigating, but are now tracking phone records to find the person who called in a bomb threat.


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