VANCOUVER – A trendy new teen prank called “swatting” can have dangerous side effects and it happened recently in Vancouver.
The prank involves using someone else’s identity and calling 9-1-1 to say they're in trouble. Then, officers swarm the area, only to find nothing.
In Vancouver, Kristy Swank said someone in her son's online gaming group did it to him after finding out his name and address.
“We had almost all, or pretty much every police officer on duty come here, for no reason at all,” Swank said. “Who knows what kind of real emergency there could have been.”
Police warn that “swatting” is especially dangerous because it ties up resources that could be responding to real emergencies. It’s also very hard to trace the people behind it.
To keep yourself from getting swatted, experts warn never to share any of your personal information online.