GREENWICH, Conn. (WTNH) – Police are working to identify the source of an apparent hoax that sent authorities racing to the scene of a reported hostage situation on Round Hill Road Thursday night.
Police Lt. Kraig Gray said in a press release Friday afternoon:
Unfortunately, there has been a national trend of which persons have misused the resources of a police department in hoax emergency calls. Often referred to as “swatting,” a hoax call is placed to emergency responders in order to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a “SWAT” or tactical team.
The 600 block of Round Hill Road was closed to traffic about 9:20 p.m. Thursday after police received a call “for what appeared to be a very serious criminal matter,” police said on the department’s official Twitter page.
Police told News 8 the scene was “very active,” but that there was “no immediate threat to the general public.”
The release continued:
The individuals who engage in this activity use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim’s phone. Sometimes ‘swatting’ is done for revenge, other times as a prank. The FBI believes that most who engage in ‘swatting’ are serial offenders who are also involved in other cyber-crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud who exploit the inherent anonymity of the internet plus the readily availability of technology to mask their true identity.
Police said Friday that the department is investigating the apparent hoax as a “serious crime.”