SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Several schools in Central Florida were forced to go into lockdown after threats were emailed to nearby businesses as part of a nationwide hoax. Now investigators are trying to figure out who sent the threats to locations across the country.
There was confusion among parents in Seminole County Thursday after they received a voicemail from the district, stating “Law enforcement's been working several threats to local businesses and have placed some of our schools on Code Yellow lockdown.”
“They called but then a few minutes later, I got the message that it was a hoax,” said parent Raenell Henry.
“I didn't realize exactly what the nationwide threat was,” said parent Shobhana Manohar.
The voicemail then went on to explain the students were safe. The threat, made to CareerSource Central Florida, was part of a nationwide hoax. Threats were also emailed to a business in Celebration and several spots in Orlando. All of them demanded Bitcoin or else they’d blow up the place.
Seminole, Orange and Osceola are just some of the counties in Florida that received threats. So did Marion, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties. There were threats in cities and states across the country as well, including New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte, Raleigh, Oklahoma City, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.
“I just think people are really losing their minds. I think it's really crazy, and they're not considering the kids at all,” said Henry.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says it checked each threat and none were credible.
Five schools locked down for about 15 minutes in Seminole County but all dismissed as normal.
“It’s just happening so many times nowadays. This shouldn't be the way we are living.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and local law enforcement agencies are helping the FBI with its investigation.