What is Swatting and How Can It Impact an Executive’s Home?

What Is Swatting?

Swatting illustrated by a police car.

What is Swatting? Risks to Executives and Senior Leadership

Swatting is a clever tactic used by bad actors to disrupt the lives of their targets and create home security risks to an executive’s family life. When key contact information including home phone numbers and personal information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used against a senior leader to create a disturbing situation for the entire family. Swatting can not only be terrifying, but it creates a risk of serious personal injury and death that is always best addressed preemptively.

When executive teams have attracted negative attention from a recently laid-off workforce, political activists,  or anyone who wishes to cause harm to others, AFIMAC can help you plan for the unfortunate consequences against the home. Swatting is best addressed preemptively alongside an intelligence agency such as AFIMAC Global. Actively scrubbing personal information from both public social media and the dark web, and prevent key information from ever making its way into the wrong hands. 

What is swatting? Shown via a small police force with helmets.

Swatting Explanation

Swatting occurs when a bad actor uses technology to “recreate” a phone call to local law enforcement, pretending to be their target by masking their phone number. The individual informs the police that there is an active shooter situation in their home, requesting their services to a specified address. The target is entirely unaware that this phone call has been made, and is then surprised by the arrival of a SWAT team at the home.

It is a form of criminal harassment, and individual bad actors leverage a home phone number, their target’s home address, and a hoax phone call to encourage law enforcement to respond directly at their target’s home in full force. In other situations, a bad actor may claim there is a bomb threat at a specific location, religious establishment, or workplace. In other, cases, high-asset individuals, celebrities, and athletes can fall victim to swatting when their personal information leaks online. The disturbing truth is that swatting doesn’t take much technical skill to conduct, as personal information is often harvested from public forums and social media while using “call masking” software that can be purchased online for a small price. 

Securing Personal Information of Senior Leadership 

Swatting highlights the importance of ensuring that key personal information never makes its way online. While social media best practices can manage this risk, there are times when actively monitoring online chatter can identify risks and help you secure both the home and workplace. Social media has given a platform for anyone to share information, organize, and vent their frustrations against their employer. Oftentimes, they reveal their next steps publicly before something ever occurs.

Take strides to ensure that the home addresses and phone numbers of leadership never make their way onto public social media platforms, and when they do, quickly remove them. Even when executives use incredibly strict social media best practices, the risks don’t stop there. Family and friends may unknowingly reveal personal information on social media, while some personal information may live online for years before it is ever uncovered. Should a motivated bad actor dig deep into the digital world, they could identify a home address or phone number that could put the safety of your family at risk.

Risk Management Services That Include The Executive’s Home

When executive teams are expecting mass layoffs, labor strikes, or have historically drawn the negative attention of political activists, AFIMAC Global can conduct Executive Threat Assessments to prevent swatting from ever occurring. Lean on AFIMAC to scrape the internet and identify where such information can be harvested. As an intelligence agency, AFIMAC’s digital information specialists can scour social platforms, the dark web, and message boards for instances when sensitive information has been made available. Something as harmless as a birthday party documented on social media can reveal your home address, while in other more complex situations, personal information can be made available for sale on the dark web.

Use the many intelligence gathering services from AFIMAC to your advantage, and actively protect your executive team by identifying and scrubbing social media from personal information. AFIMAC can even identify those who have uttered threats against your safety, investigate those who have hidden behind digital anonymity, and work to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Many of AFIMAC’s services speak to an employer’s duty of care obligations employers to provide a secure workplace for staff. Security risks tied to conducting business know very few physical boundaries, and employers must explore ways of addressing issues that could impact the home.

Contact us now to learn more about the role AFIMAC can play for any high-asset individual or executive concerned about the risk of swatting. Actively plan for issues and use social listening, private investigation, and executive protection agents to address concerns of all kinds. AFIMAC is a global security company, capable of serving corporate entities, politicians, or even the rich and famous with security concerns that are unique to them. Fill out the form below and speak with an AFIMAC representative today.

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