[Updatge -- 1313 -- Here's a detail courtesy of I See Invisible People that I missed in the other stories. From the Associated Press (my emphasis):
Frightened workers have wired thousands of dollars â€” and in one case took off their clothes â€” to placate a caller who said he was watching but may have been thousands of miles away.
Something tells me they're all getting played by a teenager who needs bucks for a new computer.]
An extortionist somewhere in the world has found an innovative way to rob Wal-Marts and other big-box retailers without ever leaving home. All the thief needs is a cell phone and a victim with the ability to wire cash anywhere in the world.
From the Associated Press:
A bomb threat that caused the evacuation of a Wal-Mart and led employees to wire $10,000 to the caller appears to be part of a broader scam targeting other businesses around the country, authorities said.
An unidentified man called the Newport store Tuesday morning, saying he had a bomb and would harm employees. He also demanded that workers transfer $10,000 to an account, said Newport Police Sgt. James Quinn. The store wired the money, Quinn said.
FBI spokesman Rich Kolko said the incident appears related to a plot in recent days targeting banks and stores near Phoenix, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia.
Kolko said Wednesday the bureau was looking into whether the calls were being placed from overseas and was compiling reports from local police departments to probe for similarities between the cases.
“At this point, there’s enough similarities that we think it’s potentially one person or one group,” Kolko said from Washington.
Wal-Mart, and other big-box retailers are, of course, the victims here. But this is also another example of what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.
Even 800-pound gorillas can be taken by annoying mosquitoes.