Bomb email makes its way across the country to FD, Messenger

FD police say its likely a hoax after multiple businesses, agencies report identical content

Multiple places in Fort Dodge, including The Messenger, were the victims of a bomb threat that was sent to email inboxes across the nation Thursday.

Authorities have said they believe that all the threats that came in via email are a hoax.

The emails were first reported in Fort Dodge early Thursday afternoon, according to Fort Dodge Police Department Lt. Matt Lundberg.

“They thought it was probably a scam, and they reached out to us,” Lundberg said.

He and Detective Keaton Lunn started an investigation into the emails.

As they were investigating, a second report came in of threatening emails being sent to another business. And Lundberg said just as he started looking into that case, a call came in from The Messenger reporting a similar threat.

The Messenger briefly evacuated its building while police investigated.

Lundberg forwarded all the information he received to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

“Everything I’ve been told is that it’s a hoax,” he said. “The FBI at this point is treating it as a hoax.”

One major clue to it being a hoax, according to Police Chief Roger Porter, is how similar all the emails are.

“The verbage in each email is essentially identical,” he said.

Lundberg said local and federal authorities are going to investigate to see if they can figure out who sent the emails.

“I would suspect, based on the way the verbage is in it, it’s probably somebody from overseas. The way it’s typed out,” Lundberg said. “But we’ll see if we can track it down and pass that information onto the FBI.”

Anyone who receives an email with this threat should save the emails and contact the Fort Dodge Police Department. Lundberg also said to forward the email to the Fort Dodge Police Department, at fdpd@fortdodgeiowa.org, with “Attention Lt. Lundberg” in the subject line.

Porter added that the department will send an officer to investigate.

Lundberg also stressed the importance of staying calm.

“Probably the biggest thing is just not to panic,” he said. “Take a few breaths and read the email.”

He said, reading the email with a critical eye, it’s sometimes apparent that it’s a hoax, but that the Police Department should still be contacted.

Porter added that it’s important to take threats like this seriously.

“As for right now, everything we’re seeing, everything we’re hearing from the feds, is that this particular scam is a hoax,” he said. “Now, obviously, we can’t say that everything that comes in is a hoax.”

If anyone receives a threat, Porter said to contact the Police Department “and we will assist them.”