Cllr Maire Hendron said: “This hoax has caused widespread disruption to many businesses in Belfast city centre during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. Our traders rely on this Christmas period to sustain their business throughout the year and some may have lost trade as a result of this hoax alert.
“This disruption has shown the complete disregard that those behind this hoax have for our businesses.
“The success of the recent Small Business Saturday initiative has shown the public’s support for our local traders, so I am disappointed that there are still those who are seeking to harm our economy.
“If anybody has any information about this hoax then I would urge them to contact the Police.”