Police are struggling to find a solution to the growing number of Swatting incidents that are reportedly targeting tech giants and their wealthy executives.
Swatting is a harassment tactic that involves deceiving police with false reports of a violent crime inside a home hoping they deploy a heavily-armed SWAT team. The pranks turned deadly on numerous occasions over the years with police accidentally shooting a number of people.
Instagram’s CEO and a longtime Facebook employee, Adam Mosseri, fell victim to Swatting in early November. Police units descended on his San Francisco and New York homes following a series of telephone calls claiming hostages were being held inside.
It took the police several hours to realize that the calls were hoaxes but not before an hours-long standoff.
According to police departments, Facebook is experiencing a spike in Swattings in recent years. The attacks are aided by online forums containing phone numbers and addresses of dozens of Facebook employees, including senior executives and their families.
The home of Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has been permanently flagged as a high risk target for Swatting.