A chronological list of celebrity swatting victims. The timeline includes celebs targeted by the growing trend called "swatting," an elaborate type of prank phone call to 911, often falsely claiming a violent incident, criminal activity, or hostage situation at the home of a famous person. The term swatting is derived from SWAT units that show up along with other law enforcement such as the cops, police helicopters, fire department, and bomb squad in response to the bogus calls. Swatting is a huge waste of money, resources, and time, and also puts people's lives in danger.
Swatting is a hoax aimed at emergency services that dispatch cops and other first response teams to any home where possible illegal activity is occurring. The FBI has used the term "swatting" since 2008, but it has not targeted the rich and famous since 2012, with reports of several celebrities falling victim to squatting. The list of the celeb swatting club includes pop music stars like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna, top Hollywood actors like Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood, and reality TV personalities such as Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, and the Kardashian family. Similar hoaxes have been played on unsuspecting targets including Ashton Kutcher, Selena Gomez, Magic Johnson, and Sean 'Diddy' Combs.Ever since the swatting trend increased in Hollywood, local police have become more aware and prepared for swatting, phone phreaking, and other types of prank phone calls targeting the stars. In February 2013, a 12-year-old boy was charged in connection with the swatting incidents at Ashton Kutcher's and Justin Bieber's L.A. homes. A few months later, the LAPD said it will no longer release information on fake 911 calls and celeb swatting occurrences in an attempt to lessen the number of phone pranks and swatting crimes.
- Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY11/25/12: A female caller told 911 that Cowell was bound and gagged in the bathroom of his Beverly Hills estate. Cops responded to the alleged hostage situation, but it turned out to be a hoax. Cowell was home at the time of the swatting incident.
- Age: 60
- Birthplace: Lambeth, London, United Kingdom
- Gender: Male
- Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License2012: In December, The Los Angeles Times reported that Sheen became the fifth celebrity swatting victim.
- Age: 55
- Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
- Gender: Male
- Alternative Name: Charlie Sheen, Carlos Estevez
- Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY1/17/13: Officers visited the Hollywood star's home after a call came through about an armed robbery in progress. Cruise was not present when the cops arrived.
- Age: 58
- Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States of America
- Gender: Male
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY1/18/13: The mansion occupied by Kris and Bruce Jenner along with their children was targeted by swatters. Kim Kardashian, who was not inside the home at the time of the incident, later Tweeted "These prank calls are NOT funny! People can get arrested for this! I hope they find out who is behind this. Its dangerous & not a joke!"
- Age: 64
- Birthplace: San Diego, California, USA
- Gender: Female