Bomb threats scare Vail Valley residents and businesses
AVON — Email bomb threats that landed on locals appear to have originated with Russian spammers, says an IT director with a regional media company.
Several businesses and individuals around the Vail Valley, including employees with the Vail Daily and its parent company, Swift Communications, are among those across the country who received a bomb threat email early Thursday afternoon.
“To the best of our ability, we have determined these emails are hoaxes. The threats are non-specific in nature and appear to follow a spam message pattern,” Chris Allison, IT manager with Swift Communications, Inc. said in an email to employees. “After investigation, we found that all emails originate from Russian spammers.
“They are looking to incite panic and, thereby, force a payment.”
The threats asked for several things, including crypto currency, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.
The threats said that if their demands are not met, “a small but damaging device will be detonated,” according to Tracy LeClair, public information officer with the Eagle River Fire Protection District.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and Avon Police Department responded to Falcon Point Condominiums in Avon and Post Montane in Beaver Creek. Both were evacuated, LeClair said.
An additional bomb threat was received at the Marriott Streamside on South Frontage Road in West Vail. That incident is also being investigated.
The bomb threats appear to be nationwide, naming news outlets, government buildings, libraries, schools and other businesses across the country, national news outlets are reporting.
In the Vail Valley, no local schools have been threatened, the Eagle County school district said.
“We are monitoring the situation, but at present there are no risks to our schools, but afternoon transportation may be impacted,” the school district said in a message to parents.
Employees and emergency responders were following bomb threat procedures established during annual drills. No devices have been located at this time, LeClair said.
“At this point, we’re attempting to identify whether a threat actually exists,” LeClair said.
So far, authorities in Jefferson County and Mesa County, Colorado have turned up nothing, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators are tracking down the source of the threats, the Sheriff’s Office said.