SWATting? What the heck is that? Star, Idaho, resident David Fix knows. He has had an up close and personal view of it and he did not enjoy the experience.
The term is a not-so-veiled reference to the actions of police SWAT teams, which descend in force to a perceived problem that may require an overpowering police presence.
SWATting, with the first reported case coming in 2002, is a growing problem both for law enforcement and for high-profile individuals whose online activism are garnering a type of attention they never anticipated. SWATting occurs when someone—usually anonymously or using a fake identity—calls in a false report to local law enforcement that a serious crime has been committed or is currently being committed. The caller is usually unknown and cannot be traced.
Often a caller will use voice over (VOIP) connections between the caller’s computer and a distant telephone network, and then dial 911. This sleight of hand enables the caller to hide his identity (telephone number and address). That makes it virtually impossible for emergency dispatchers to identify or track the call. Parrish Miller/IdahoReporter.com