MANILA, Phillipines – Hollywood stars Justin Timberlake and Selena Gomez are the latest victims of a string of “swatting” pranks on celebrities that began January this year.
Swatting, The Hollywood Reporter explains, is dubbed such because it refers to the US SWAT team pestered by the prank. A caller falsely alarms 911 of an emergency supposedly happening on a celebrity’s property. Authorities respond, only to find that everything is a hoax.
Justin and Selena, whose calls happened two hours apart, were victimized on Friday April 5, prompting the Los Angeles Police Department to swamp both their homes. A caller reported shooting outside Timberlake’s residence in Hollywood Hills while another called reporting a murder and a threat to burn down Gomez’s residence in Sherman Oaks
Several other a-list celebrities have fallen victim to this prank: Tom Cruise, Bruce and Kris Jenner, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Steve Carell, P. Diddy, and Rihanna.
A 12-year-old boy was seen as a suspect in Ashton Kutcher’s swatting in late 2012 as well as with an emergency at Wilshire Boulevard Bank. On March 11, the boy pleaded guilty and is now faced with two felony counts of computer intrusion and making false bomb threats. He is also believed to be responsible for Justin Bieber’s swatting. – Rappler.com