- (Photo: Reuters/ Lucas Jackson)
Anderson Cooper has been "swatted" on Long Island, as the increasingly popular but dangerous pranks continue to hit celebrities.
Swatting has generally taken place on the West Coast so far, targeting Hollywood stars in Los Angeles, however, it now appears as though the pranksters have brought swatting to the East Coast as Cooper was hit in Quoigue, NY, a Hamptons-area town "out East," according to the New York Post.
Swatting has become increasingly popular in 2013, however, it has been widely condemned as being dangerous and terrifying for celebrities involved in the practical jokes.
As well as Anderson Cooper, past victims of the prank include Ryan Seacrest, Rihanna, Russell Brand, Ashton Kutcher among others.
Swatting occurs when pranksters made an anonymous call to the police explaining that a terrifying situation is unfolding at a celebrity's residence, such as they have been taken hostage, or that a shooting was taking place.
The call always describes a situation serious enough to demand and warrant a heavy and speedy police response, preferably by a SWAT team – hence the name swatting.
Authorities have reported in this more recent case: "A 911 caller last month told Southampton Town cops a man had just shot his wife at the CNN anchor's home in Quiogue. Cops from four departments flooded the streets but found no signs of a shooting, sources said."
Cooper was not at the residence when the swatting occurred, and he has not yet made any official comment on the incident.
Just in January, Hollywood actor Tom Cruise was swatted in a fake 911 call, following the likes of Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher to be the victims of the so-called prank.
According to reports, a 911 call was placed with the Beverly Hills police saying that an armed robbery was in progress at the Hollywood actor's home in California. Police were immediately dispatched to the residence to deal with the reported emergency. However, when they arrived at Cruise's mansion they quickly discovered that the reports were false and that Cruise had been the victim of swatting.
In the Cruise incident, the actor and his family were also not at home when police arrived, but his private security staff were on the scene.
According to celebrity website Gawker, a 12 year old was arrested in December after using a computer program to create fake accounts to make TTY calls to police to report several false emergencies.
As a result of that young boy's hoaxes, Bieber and Kutcher were sent police presences to respond to alleged emergencies taking place at their homes. Local businesses in LA were also targeted.
Here is a video report into the Anderson Cooper swatting incident: