Seattle police officers talk to a victim of "swatting" -- a hoax 911 call.
Enlarge Icon
Seattle police officers talk to a victim of "swatting" -- a hoax 911 call.

Seattle Police aim to protect victims of prank 911 calls

The video shows heavily armed police officers moving carefully down a hallway toward an apartment door.

When the occupant emerges: "So we got a 911 call saying that someone at this address was holding five people hostage."

There were no hostages. The apartment resident had been “swatted.”

That’s when someone makes a hoax 911 call, attempting to get a police SWAT response to the innocent person’s home.

The video is part of the Seattle Police Department’s campaign against swatting. It adapts a service called Rave Facility, typically meant to provide extra 911 information for businesses.

Now, SPD says people can register their residences using the service if they fear that someone might target them. Officers then have that information if they get a call to that address.

So who’s a typical victim? Seattle police say it’s often someone in the tech or video game industry, but anyone could be targeted.

And swatting can be dangerous. In a 2017 incident in Wichita, police killed a man who came to the door during a swatting call.

You can click on this SPD page for links to the registration pages for Rave Facility and for another service, SMART 911.

Tell Us What You Think

We'd love to hear your thoughts