Cops in Sammamish, Washington, are super pissed after being sent to a home here by a 911 call claiming someone inside had claymore mines and hostages. The caller turns out to be a prick seeking revenge on an Xbox Live moderator.
Rolling Johnny Law up to someone’s doorstep just to cause them trouble is called “swatting”, apparently, and the FBI is tracking about 100 such cases of it nationwide. It has ties to video gaming, as well, already happening in Oregon and Florida to people who got into Xbox Live arguments with extra-antisocial bastards instead of just the regular-strength ones.
In this case, it happens that the victim works for Xbox Live, and told police his job was to “catch and shut down hackers.”
Evidently he dun goofed at some point and so that’s why last month (this has just now come to light) Sammamish police got several emergency 911 text messages around 4 in the morning claiming that “two armed Russian males” had broken into a home, “shot my son … and they have Claymore mines”. The texts also warned of a “flashing red device” in the home.
LOL, say you, how could the cops take that seriously? Cops take everything seriously, it’s partly why they have all that cool battle gear. About half-a-dozen police cars went screaming to the door with guns drawn before the homeowner, rousted from sleep, came out and calmed everything down.
The Sammamish police chief believes the griefer hacked into a 911 text messaging service to pull off the stunt, and he’s furious. “We have officers responding lights and sirens to a call they think is an emergency in progress and they get there only to find out it’s a hoax,” he said.
Note to hackers/griefers/griefackers: Washington’s legislature is working on a bill to make harassing a 911 operator, which includes swatting, a crime. Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Wash.
Hacker’s Hoax Leads Police to Swarm Xbox Live Employee’s Home[KOMO-TV — h/t Jesse]