A British man has been charged with phoning a terrorism hotline posing as U.S. gamer, Tyran Dobbs claiming to be in the possession of a gun, explosives and hostages. Twenty-one year old Robert McDaid from Coventry now faces multiple charges after "swatting" the 20-year-old gamer from Maryland, who was shot by police with rubber bullets. Although the police were in their right mind to use rubber bullets, Tyran still sustained several injuries for taking rubber bullets on his face and chest; a fractured skull and bruised lungs.
Zachary Lee, also a fellow U.S. gamer, is facing the same jail time as McDaid for asking him to swat Dobbs. They are both facing 20 years of jail time. The pair is reported to have met and planned the prank through unspecified online games.
The Dangers Of Swatting
Swatting is a serious threat to public safety and streamers need to learn how they can protect themselves from it. Swatting occurs when someone calls the police on a streamer while they are online and send several threats, prompting SWAT teams to rush to the area and raid the house so people can watch the streamer get arrested. This is has been a cruel prank by anti-social and angry degenerates, thankfully officials are working on holding them responsible.
Swatting can be avoided by taking necessary precautions so streamers can protect themselves. According to a Reddit post, swatters will firstly get a hold of the streamer's IP address, which can be done by getting the streamer's Skype name or looking up their info online. The IP address will then be used to give the swatters a rough estimate of where the streamer lives which will then be crossed-referenced to any other information the person has available online (facebook, twitter, etc.) Swatters will then call the local police claiming to be the other and send in violent threats.
This will result in a violent raid visit by the police which in a number of occasions, someone will get seriously hurt or injured, not to mention the instances dogs were shot and killed by police for protecting their owners. Now swatters are also masking their IP or go through several VPNS to remain anonymous. This petty and heinous prank must be stopped but streamers must focus on protecting themselves first.
How To Avoid Swatting
It's frighteningly easy for swatters to do this. All they have to do is find out where the streamer lives, call the police and dupe them into thinking there is a life-and-death situation happening in their home. If streamers are worried of getting swatted, here's a post from digg explaining the steps and precautions to take in order to avoid it.