The FBI has indicated that there have been at least two known instances of “swatting” in El Paso in the last few months and they are not amused.  Specific details as to the dates and locations of those events were not released but it’s scary and sad to know that people in our community have had to go through that horrible and terrifying experience.

For those that are unfamiliar, swatting happens when a person intentionally and maliciously tries to get the SWAT team to respond to somebody’s home or business by falsely claiming somebody at that address is in imminent danger of being harmed by another person.  Far from being a funny prank or an acceptable way to get back at somebody for a perceived or actual slight, swatting is dangerous, puts peoples lives at risk, and is an unnecessary drain on resources that need to be available in case they are really needed.

This week’s announcement and warning by the FBI doesn’t mean that this form of “prank” or attempt at revenge is a new development.  There have been swatting incidents going back to at least 2005 and innocent people have died as a result and people who have made these false emergency phone calls have been sentenced to serve some real time in prison.

The FBI is asking that people take precautions to make sure their address isn’t known or easily obtainable by people they don’t know or are only casually acquainted with.

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