(CBS Detroit) – Dozens of institutions across metro Detroit and around the country have received email threats Thursday afternoon, prompting evacuations and sweeps of buildings.

The Farmington Hills Police issued a statement early Thursday afternoon that they are “Investigating numerous reports of threats to local businesses via email demanding $20,000 to be made by Bitcoin.”

Officials report that these messages are part of an ongoing nationwide fraud.

At this time the threats appear to be a hoax.

Farmington Hills Police state that “If you receive a threatening email requesting payment of any kind do not respond and contact your local police department.”

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