Trend known as "swatting" leads to phony 911 call - KMSP-TV

Trend known as "swatting" leads to phony 911 call

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An e-mail hacker sent police rushing to a Highland Township home, but there was no real emergency. The Oakland County Sheriff's Department says the suspect used Skype to make a false police report about a deadly shooting.

Police say it's part of a disturbing trend known as "swatting." It involves a fake 911 call reporting a violent emergency to gather a massive police response. The sick prank is a crime in and of itself and it ties up valuable police resources. Now investigators are looking for whoever's responsible.

Neighbors on Katie Lane woke up to quite a scene Saturday morning. The sheriff's department received a startling call around 6am. It turns out the caller hacked the email of the person living in the house, snatched their address and told police the homeowner killed his mother and was moments away from killing himself. But, it was all a lie.

Click on the video player to watch Erika Erickson's report.

This is the second "swatting" incident in Oakland County in less than a week. On Tuesday, a caller tricked police in West Bloomfield, saying he'd shot his wife, took a neighbor hostage, and set up explosives around the home. Police were out for two hours responding to the false report. There are new state laws with harsher penalties for this kind of prank, including jail time. So far, there are no arrests but police are looking for the culprits.

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