Some residents of Bismarck today got a scare today when police initiated a reverse 911 call telling them to stay in their homes because of an incident in the area. Citizens quickly began posting pictures of police officers with weapons drawn surrounding a home.
But it turned it was a hoax.
About 1:15, Bismarck Police told us the incident had ended, apparently having started with a Skype call from someone who claimed to have weapons and was holding his mother hostage. But they say there was no hostage situation. Their investigation is continuing.
So, apparently this was a “swatting” incident, which is a term describing a situation when puts in a hoax call to get a SWAT team to show up. It’s extremely dangerous for both police and those targeted.
I first became aware of it (for obvious reasons) when conservative bloggers were being targeted with the tactic.
It’s a scary thing. Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trend in this area.