GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich police continue to investigate a report of hostages being taken at a Round Hill Road home that turned out to be a hoax, spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, there has been a national trend of which persons have misused the resources of a police department in hoax emergency calls," Gray said in the statement.
Greenwich police responded to a call around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday to a report of a potential hostage situation in the 600 block of Round Hill Road. Police found no one in the home where the call was believed to be coming from.
Known as "swatting," the hoax calls are meant to to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a "SWAT" or tactical team. The individuals who engage in this activity use technology to make it appear that the emergency call is coming from the victim’s phone.
Gray added that sometimes 'swatting' is done for revenge, other times as a prank.
The FBI believes that most who engage in 'swatting' are serial offenders who are also involved in other cyber-crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud who exploit the inherent anonymity of the internet plus the readily availability of technology to mask their true identity, according to the statement.
"Hoax calls, or making false reports to law enforcement, are serious crimes which are frightening to the target and surrounding community, cause an unnecessary drain on resources, and potentially puts lives in danger," Gray said in the statement. "The Greenwich Police Department will continue to investigate this very serious incident and attempt to identify its perpetrators."