After responding to a reported shooting and hostage situation at a home in Roanoke on Monday, police determined it was a fake hostage situation known as “swatting.”
Roanoke officers received assistance from officers from Trophy Club and Argyle while responding to the phone call in the 1300 block of Indian Trail Road at 1:21 p.m., according to a Roanoke Police Department news release. After identifying the homeowners and making contact with everyone living at the residence, it was determined to be a fake hostage situation called “swatting,” in which someone falsely reports a false emergency so they can watch the police and emergency service response team to another person’s address. The individuals who engage in this activity use technology such as caller ID spoofing, social engineering, TTY and prank calls to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim’s phone, according to police.
“These calls are dangerous to first responders, the reported victims and the community,” Roanoke PD said in a statement. “In addition, these calls use public safety resources and may keep first responders away from real emergencies.”
Roanoke PD will continue to investigate the incident to determine the identity of the caller.