Now that is really funny


Making a call to 911 with a story designed to get the local SWAT team to respond is not safe for anyone. Especially if I survive the call-out to my house and I find the guy who made the call.

From the article:

Doug Bates and his wife, Stacey, were in bed around 10 p.m., their 2-year-old daughters asleep in a nearby room. Suddenly they were shaken awake by the wail of police sirens and the rumble of a helicopter above their suburban Southern California home. A criminal must be on the loose, they thought.

Doug Bates got up to lock the doors and grabbed a knife. A beam from a flashlight hit him. He peeked into the backyard. A swarm of police, assault rifles drawn, ordered him out of the house. Bates emerged, frightened and with the knife in his hand, as his wife frantically dialed 911. They were handcuffed and ordered to the ground while officers stormed the house.

The scene of mayhem and carnage the officers expected was nowhere to be found. Neither the Bateses nor the officers knew that they were pawns in a dangerous game being played 1,200 miles away by a teenager bent on terrifying a random family of strangers.

They were victims of a new kind of telephone fraud that exploits a weakness in the way the 911 system handles calls from Internet-based phone services. The attacks — called “swatting” because armed police SWAT teams usually respond — are virtually unstoppable, and an Associated Press investigation found that budget-strapped 911 centers are essentially defenseless without an overhaul of their computer systems.

I’m thinking it’s time to get rid of my land line.


5 thoughts on “Now that is really funny

  1. I’m thinking it’s time to get rid of my land line.

    That won’t help. They don’t need your landline, they just need a computer and a service to enter whatever address they want.

    In a grisly sounding call to 911, Ellis was putting an Internet-based phone service for the hearing-impaired to nefarious use. By entering bogus information about his location, Ellis was able to make it seem to the 911 operator as if he was calling from inside the Bateses’ home. He said he was high on drugs and had just shot his sister.

    Unlike calls that come from landline phones, which are registered to a fixed physical address and display that on 911 dispatchers’ screens, calls coming from people’s computers, or even calls from landline or cell phones that are routed through spoofing services, could appear to be originating from anywhere.

    Scores of Caller ID spoofing services have sprung up, offering to disguise callers’ origins for a fee. All anybody needs to do is pony up for a certain number of minutes, punch in a PIN code and specify whom they’re calling and what they’d like the Caller ID to display.

  2. Whatever happened to assessing the situation upon arrival. If you show up and the house looks quite, knock on the freaking door. You break down my door in the middle of the night, I will shoot, police or not. I have no way to easily establish for myself that the man heavily armed breaking into my house doesn’t wish to harm me or my wife. Bottom line, I have a right to protect myself and my property, and frankly that includes protecting it from jack booted thugs!


  3. It isn’t your landline that is the problem.

    It is my vonage IP phone… hmmm…


  4. Yeah. I was thinking the spoof worked by substituting the number of the victims land-line rather than the address.

    Thanks for the correction.

  5. I find it amazing that these people allow themselves to be used as toys. I wonder; if someone were to make a call to a fire department, falsely claiming that someone’s house is on fire, would the fire department show up and start pumping water into the house, or would they, you know, check first?

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