(LOS ANGELES) — Justin Timberlake is the latest victim of a phone prank known as “swatting,” where pranksters send police to star’s homes to respond to a phony crime.
“Swatting is typically done through spoofing and spoofing is where you change the telephone number,” Former FBI special agent and ABC News Consultant Brad Garrett explained. Callers falsely report an incident in order to trick the authorities into dispatching an emergency response.
The unidentified caller reported that four men were breaking into the pop star’s home.
Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez and Rihanna were all targets of “swatting” hoaxes this week. They join Justin Bieber, Clint Eastwood and numerous non-celebrities as victims of the prank.
There are an estimated four hundred incidents of swatting across the country and they cost police an average of ten thousand dollars each time.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jim Bennett, Deseret News
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications