Federal investigators are looking overseas for clues and suspects in a scam that uses bomb threats to extort money from banks and stores, law enforcement officials told CNN.
Wal-Mart employees gather outside the store in Newport, Rhode Island, after a bomb threat on Tuesday.
For the past week, banks and stores in at least 13 states have been hit by the scam, in which a caller claims there is a bomb on the premises that can be detonated if employees don't meet a demand to wire money to a specific account.
In one incident in Kansas, the caller ordered store employees and customers to take off their clothes, police said.
A source told CNN that investigators are looking for a suspect in Portugal who appears to be linked to an account number the caller uses in his demands. The source said it is believed to be either a single person or a small group tied to an account in Portugal.
At least $13,000 has been extorted, according to a law enforcement source.
As in many of the cases, the caller "[made] it seem very realistic that they're right in the building or right outside, almost like they have a visual," Millinocket Police Chief Donald Bolduc said.
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Wow, that's pretty interesting. As cruel (and perverted) and that dude is, he must have a hell of a plan to get this far.