14-year-old professional Fortnite player, Cody “Clix” Conrad, has become the latest streamer to become a target of swatting.
Swatting is an ever-growing trend that is as stupid as is it dangerous, and it’s already claimed lives. The process sees someone place a fake phone call to the police, directing them to the home of a streamer. Not only is this highly illegal, but it’s potentially traumatising for the victim.
Thankfully, in the case of Clix, no-one was harmed during this swatting incident. The crime took place during a Fortnite Championship Series game, which was interrupted as police arrived at the property.
Not everyone who has found themselves on the other end of a swatting “prank” has been as lucky as Clix and his family.
Just last month, 19-year-old Casey Viner has been found guilty of the 2017 swatting incident which led to the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch.
Back in December of 2017, Viner lost a $1.50 bet during a game of Call of Duty WW2. He then hired the help of 26-year-old Los Angeles resident Tyler Barriss, asking him to call the police with a fake emergency at what he believed was the address of the person he lost the bet to.
Viner incorrectly gave the address of Andrew Finch, and Barriss’ phone call to the police led to armed officers showing up at Finch’s home.
Police then fatally shot the uninvolved Finch at his Wichita home.
Earlier this year, Seattle Police Department wrote a blog post with the aim of raising awareness about swatting, offering up a register for those at risk of swatting to sign.
On its blog, the Seattle police wrote: “Rave Facility is a solution that is designed as a SMART 911 counterpart for commercial properties. For the purpose of registering swatting concerns, it works,” says the website.
“Here’s how. A 911 call taker receives a report of a critical incident. While ensuring first responders are dispatched to that call for service as quickly as possible, the call taker will simultaneously check for whether or not swatting concerns have been registered at that address.
“If swatting concerns have been registered, this information will be shared with responding officers, who will still proceed to the call. If no location profile exists, officers will still continue to the call.
“Nothing about this solution is designed to minimize or slow emergency services. At the same time, if information is available, it is more useful for responding officers to have it than to not.”
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