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Swatting: Tricking 911 to Send SWAT Teams to Your Home

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What is this SWAT team doing? | Photo by seantyler via Flickr
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Remember when an Orange County SWAT team descended upon an unsuspecting couple at their home one night in March 2007? The Bates didn't do anything; rather it was 18-year-old Randal Ellis in Washington--he hacked his VoIP telephone service to look like it was coming from the OC home and claimed he had a gun and just shot his sister. This was just one of his 185 swatting calls with random locations picked around the country, but it was Orange County that found Ellis.

However, in an Associated Press report, it was found that many swatting cases are not fully investigated or even reported in the first place by authorities. Despite, that a group of eight were arrested in Dallas were charge with making over 300 swatting calls.

Because the 911 infrastructure was built on the basis that they could trust the information callers were making, law enforcement hopes long prison terms will help curb the crime. "We're not able to cope with this very well," said Roger Hixson of the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 system's industry group. "We're just hoping this doesn't become a widespread hobby." They say an upgrade to the system would be a huge undertaking.