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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Along with more than a dozen other universities, UF received an anonymous email Tuesday that threatened violence on campus unless the writer received a payment of 1.2 bitcoin, or about $19,735, police said.

The email, sent to UF President Kent Fuchs, said threats would start at noon Wednesday if regular bitcoin payments were not made, University Police Sgt. Eddie King said. Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI are looking into the threat along with local police, though King said there likely is no threat.

Since the initial email, no violence or threatening incidents have been reported.

“Nothing has happened,” King said. “I would say it was a scam.”

While exact details of the threat remain private due to ongoing state and federal investigations, King said the email described using pipe bombs on campus and targeting students and faculty.

The writer of the email, who referred to themselves as “Only fair,” sent police instructions on how to purchase and deposit bitcoin, King said.

On Thursday, the University of West Florida, one of the universities who received the threat, released a public safety notice urging people to “remain vigilant” and be aware of their surroundings.

UF spokesperson Janine Sikes said students should remain alert upon returning to classes despite the threat likely being a scam.

“As always, we urge anyone seeing suspicious activity on campus to report it to the University Police Department,” Sikes said.

Contact David Hoffman at dhoffman@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter at @hoffdavid123.

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