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FBI catches five 'swatters'

Feb. 4, 2008 at 10:41 PM   |   Comments

DALLAS, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The newest twist on crimes involving hacking phone companies is a trend called "swatting," a type of fake emergency call, the FBI in Dallas said Monday.

Recently five so-called swatters in several states have placed emergency calls to 911 pretending to be other people in more than 60 cities, often using tales elaborate enough to have a SWAT team sent out, said an FBI news release.

The callers often told of hostages about to be executed or bombs about to go off, postponing sporting events and forcing hotels to be evacuated on more than one occasion.

As for the reason behind the calls, Kevin Kolbye, assistant special agent in charge of the Dallas office, said there really isn't one.

"Individuals did it for the bragging rights and ego, versus any monetary gain," he said.

The five swatters were tracked down through the cooperative efforts of local, state and federal agencies, as well as telecommunications providers and first responders.

All five have pleaded guilty to various charges, the FBI said.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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