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Arizona YouTuber’s experience shows how swatting is illegal

It is easy to forget that real people are involved in online arguments, especially when emotions run high. Some people prefer to handle an online disagreement by debating in the comment section, while others may take the conflict up a notch. It is important for Arizona residents to understand that some online conflicts can result in criminal charges.

Some people, especially gamers, resort to a prank called “swatting” when they are frustrated or angry with another internet user. They may think the joke is harmless, but in reality, it can be dangerous and is also illegal. AZFamily reported on a recent swatting incident, in which a YouTuber from Glendale had law enforcement show up at his home while he was live streaming. Allegedly, someone had called 911, posing as the YouTuber and saying that he had killed his wife and was armed. The man said officers went through his home with their weapons drawn.

This prank is called swatting because it involves a false police report that results in armed law enforcement or SWAT teams showing up at an unsuspecting target’s home. The prank is often pulled on gamers by other gamers, but political figures, celebrities and schools are also frequent targets. Authorities say making a false report or fraudulent call to emergency services is a crime that is taken seriously.

Gamers and other people who spend a significant amount of time online might not realize this prank can have serious consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to seek experienced counsel if facing charges.

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