We’ve seen it on the news and we’ve read about it in the papers. Swatting is becoming a dangerous prank that has no place in the modern world. Anyone who commits swatting should be held completely accountable for their actions and their intentions. To anyone who has inadvertently become a victim of swatting, you have our deepest sympathy.
With all the news covering swatting recently, we felt now would be the time to open things up and give everyone, including the media, a detailed look at SpoofCard‘s role in swatting. We think the facts will help clear our name and any misconceptions that may be out there regarding our role in swatting.
Unfortunately, it is true that Caller ID spoofing has been used in cases of swatting. However, as coverage of swatting increases, the media is quick to place the blame on SpoofCard. In reality, that is actually far from the truth. With a little research, they would find that there are many other spoofing services out there that could also be used. Out of the millions of legitimate and harmless calls that have been placed by SpoofCard users over the past 7 years, just one call has been used for a swatting prank. To date, SpoofCard has received around 15-20 subpoenas looking for information on these types of swatting cases, but only a single incident has actually been found to have occurred through our systems. That’s one too many for us, but this at least should show that it’s safe for us to say the majority of swatting pranks are not done through SpoofCard.
How are these SWAT team pranks done? There are typically two ways swatting calls are placed: by calling the secret, direct 10-digit phone number of 911 call centers or by using an online “TTY operator” chat and convincing the TTY operator to relay whatever message is given to them. This may sound strange to most people, but TTY operators are required to relay messages, as a service to the deaf (typically the only ones who would require TTY operators). This is not something SpoofCard can control or has anything to do with.
If SpoofCard were to shut down tomorrow, swatting would still live on. The fact is that SpoofCard simply offers a technology to consumers. The technology behind SpoofCard has been around for years and years. It’s the responsibility of the user of this technology to not commit outright illegal activities with it. In fact, in the one rare occasion that SpoofCard was used to commit a SWAT, authorities were relieved to find this, because it made tracking and prosecuting the end user easier! Remember, SpoofCard is not above the law and we have to cooperate with requests from law enforcement.
The folks who commit such heinous pranks flat out know what they are doing, and the legality associated with swatting pranks. Sadly, as we’ve grown to understand, because an act is wrong does not mean it will not be committed. Harsher consequences must be put into place to put a swift end to this nonsense.
If you are in the news media or law enforcement and you’re reading this, feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about swatting and what we at SpoofCard think can be done to eliminate it. We’re here to help and will do whatever it takes. This is a topic we’re passionate about curbing, because no one should have technology used against them like this.