Reports indicate that reality television star and socialite Paris Hilton is the latest victim of the “swatting” trend that has plagued celebrities in the past.
“Swatting” is prank call that is made to law enforcement agencies. The caller reports suspicious activity or a crime at a celebrity’s home and then members of the police and other law enforcement sectors go out to the home of the celebrity to assess the situation. In many cases, the SWAT team also accompanies police.
Hilton, heiress to the Hilton hotel empire, is the latest victim of the prank and the incident happened over the weekend. On Saturday, just after 5 p.m., a call came through the Internet and originally was reported as a “hot prowl,” or a burglary.
When LAPD authorities responded and arrived at Hilton’s home, a housekeeper and a dog were there but there were no signs of intruders.
According to law enforcement officials, “swatting” costs tremendous amounts of money in resources and time. They discourage “swatting” prank calls due to the high costs and tremendous resources that are involved.
Celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Chris Brown, Simon Cowell, the Kardashian family, Miley Cyrus and Ashton Kutcher have all been victims of swatting. In the case of Kutcher, a 12-year-old boy admitted to falsely calling in an emergency call to Kutcher’s home.
What can be done to curb the “swatting” problem? Watch below the dangers of “swatting”.
Cicely C. Mitchell, MIX 96.5/ Houston