Arlington Heights Police Investigate Hoax Shots Fired Call, Swatting Calls Thursday

Rand Road and Greenwood Avenue Aerial (Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2021))
Rand Road and Greenwood Avenue Aerial (Imagery ©2021 Maxar Technologies, U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2021).

Arlington Heights police responded about 10:44 a.m. Thursday, April 15, 2021 to a report of shots fired at a residence in a neighborhood near Rand Road and Greenwood Avenue. Arlington Heights Police Department sent several units to investigate. Police officers determined the call was a hoax and that no shots had been fired. According to the Arlington Heights Police Department, there was never a danger to the community.




Later in the afternoon Thursday the Northwest Central Dispatch System 9-1-1 center received a swatting hoax call in the same neighborhood reporting a house fire. Initially it was not confirmed with officials by CARDINAL NEWS whether the earlier “shots fired” call also involved swatting.

Swatting is a criminal harassment tactic of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police and emergency service response team to another person’s address.




Swatting is a method of criminal harassment that often uses Caller ID spoofing of an emergency service or 9-1-1 service, which causes the dispatch of police and/or firefighters and paramedics for with the hoax report of an incident usually targeting the victims of the harassment that are located at the address of the reported hoax.

Caller ID spoofing usually uses some type of digital technology to send a false phone number to any recipient with Caller ID. When spoofing technique is used to call 9-1-1 with the intent to cause an emergency response to a hoax incident, the term “swatting” is used by authorities. The spoofed caller ID phone number received by the 9-1-1 center usually matches the referenced address that the offender uses to report the hoax emergency.




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Greenwood Avenue at Rand Road is opposite Hintz Road at the intersection.