We recently did a series of posts on a “SWAT” presence in Toms River, NJ and later followed up with information from the TRPD that stated it was most likely an incidence of SWATTING. After we did so, we found out that many people were still blissfully unaware of the danger of swatting, and the real threat that can be brought into their home unbeknownst to them.
According to Google, Swatting is an “informal” noun in the us English language
the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.GOOGLE Definition
“he found out that he was a victim of swatting after police surrounded his home on Thursday”
Swatting is a fairly modern occurrence where someone will either call 911 with an emergency requiring an emergency swat response to a location, or even worse, impersonate a 911/Police dispatcher and “dispatch” the swat team to a location, stating to arrive weapons drawn to a dangerous situation that doesn’t exist. This often times has ended in someone getting injured or hurt because the people in the home unknowingly resist the brute force intrusion by the swat team with guns drawn. It’s often done by “kids” or other individuals who are deep into online video gaming, and want to “punish” someone for something they did online but it’s becoming more widespread.
In 2015 an anonymous “swatter” made a report of of people being shot and held hostage inside a video store, while in fact the occupants of the store were gleefully playing in a PlayStation tournament during the monthly meeting of the North Atlantic Videogame Aficianados.
Another Swatter/Hoaxer who started making hoax calls in December of 2017 managed to rack up 17 hoax “swatting” calls before he was arrested. Treyvon K. Holt, 22 of Trenton made multiple reports of incidents in Mercer and Burlington Counties prompting a significant police response. The reports included false reports of burglaries in progress and smoke conditions.
Many people think that “swatting” is limited to celebrities who have an online streaming presence, but that is not always the case. It has evolved over time from being a prank to a way to deliver “vengeance” against someone who has wronged you on the internet. The same network that has brought the world closer together, has caused incidents to evolve since physical vengeance can’t be delivered in person anymore.
As usual, when operating online, be careful of any information that you give to someone else. Something as simple as your “real” or legal name and the town in which you live can not only lead to identity theft but swatting as well. Also make sure to monitor your kids communication on the internet.