Protect Yourself from Swatting

Swatting is a crime. For those unfamiliar with the term, swatting is the act of creating a hoax 911 call typically involving hostages, gunfire, or other acts of extreme violence, with the goal of diverting emergency public safety resources to an unsuspecting person's residence.

It is a deliberate and malicious act that creates an environment of fear and unnecessary risk, and in some cases, has led to loss of life.

Anyone can be the target of swatting, but victims are typically associated with the tech industry, video game industry, and/or the online broadcasting community. 

The Seattle Police Department has received requests to create a registry where residents concerned about swatting can communicate those concerns to their local 911 Center. Our challenge was to move forward and implement an improved business process while protecting the privacy of the community we serve. To our knowledge, no solution to this problem existed, so we engineered one: enter SMART 911 and Rave Mobile Safety. If you live in Seattle, you may already use SMART 911 to improve the quality of public safety responses to your residence. 

SMART 911 provides the opportunity to create a web based profile tailored specifically to the needs of your household. For instance, someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or who has a medical condition or allergy, could enter this information on a SMART 911 profile page. First responders would have real time access to your specific needs before they even knock on your door.

While incredibly useful, SMART 911 did not meet the criteria for our solution, since profile data is triggered by calling 911 from a registered phone number rather than associated to a registered address.

This is where Rave Facility comes in. Rave Facility is a solution that is designed as a SMART 911 counterpart for commercial properties.  For the purpose of registering swatting concerns, it works. Here's how. A 911 call taker receives a report of a critical incident. While ensuring first responders are dispatched to that call for service as quickly as possible, the call taker will simultaneously check for whether or not swatting concerns have been registered at that address. If swatting concerns have been registered, this information will be shared with responding officers, who will still proceed to the call. If no location profile exists, officers will still continue to the call. Nothing about this solution is designed to minimize or slow emergency services. At the same time, if information is available, it is more useful for responding officers to have it than to not.

Creating a Rave Facility Profile

Are you concerned about being the target of swatting? Creating a Rave Facility profile is easy.

  1. Go to the site.  
  2. Click the Register Now button. There is no cost and your information is confidential.
  3. You will be on a 'Register Your Corporation' page. Simply enter the name of your household and all required fields.
  4. Ignore the 'Rave Panic Button Activation Code' field.
  5. Agree to terms of use.
  6. Click submit.
  7. This brings you to the 'Campuses' page. Ensure your home or apartment information is accurate. In the 'Location Type' field, use the drop down to select 'Other' and then type in 'private residence' in the text box.  
  8. In the 'Other Access Info' text box, type in SWATTING CONCERNS.
  9. Click on the Save button.
  10. Log out.

The Seattle Police 911 Center will review and approve Rave Facility applications. No further action is necessary.

As technology improves, this process may be updated. Key principles will remain. Personal information will be kept confidential. Police will still respond to all calls for service, regardless of whether or not swatting concerns have been registered.

If a police response is requested to an address where swatting concerns have been registered, this information will be shared with first responders to inform and improve their police response to the incident.