Congresswoman Katherine Clark, who has been pushing the US Congress to impose stricter penalties on swatting, has been fallen prey to swatters.

According to Clark’s office, police in Melrose, Massachusetts received an anonymous call reporting a shooter at the representative’s address.

A statement issued by the Melrose Police Department reveals that after being dispatched, the police quickly determined that there was no danger or threat at residence.

“It appears that someone was trying to elicit a police response by making a false report,” Police Chief, Michael L. Lyle said in a statement. “We take incidents like this very seriously, and will conduct a thorough investigation.”

What is “swatting”?

The term swatting is used when an anonymous call is made to emergency services, reporting a shooter, a terrorist or another incident which could require a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to intervene.

While many see this as a prank, it can be quite dangerous, and extremely traumatising, as you can see in the video below.

The streamers that this happens to are usually targets of harassment campaigns, something Clark has spoken out about numerous times.

The Internet Swatting Hoax Act, which Clark introduced, would make swatting a federal crime which carries a minimum one year prison sentence if caught and found guilty.

Thankfully, swatting has not resulted in any deaths but we would prefer having the whole thing struck from memory and stopped before something terrible does happen.

[Via – The Verge] [Image CC by 2.0 – pan.li75]