Huffpost Los Angeles

Simon Cowell: Prank Call, Or 'Swatting,' Leads Police To Celebrity's Home

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SIMON COWELL PRANK CALL
Simon Cowell, judge on the show “X Factor,” has joined Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Ashton Kutcher on a growing list of celebrities who have fallen victim to a prank known as "swatting." | Alamy

Simon Cowell, judge on the show “X Factor,” has joined Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Ashton Kutcher on a growing list of celebrities who have fallen victim to a prank known as "swatting."

On Sunday, at approximately 12:56 P.M., the Beverly Hills Police Department received a call reporting that someone inside a house had been tied up with duct tape, according to the police. When the address of the residence was determined not to be a Beverly Hills address, the caller then stated that the incident was occurring at Cowell's house, which is in the City of Beverly Hills.

However, when officers responded to the Cowell residence and contacted him, they determined that the call was a prank.

Prank calls like this one are known as "swatting" because they often bring S.W.A.T. teams to the victim's home. There are about 400 swatting incidents a year nationally, costing on average $10,000 each, according to ABC. One teenager, Matthew Wideman, was recently sentenced to 11 years in jail for a swatting call that led to police firing tear gas inside a New Jersey home.

Within the last three months, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Ashton Kutcher all fell victim to swatting.

In addition to "X Factor," Cowell is famed for being a tough judge on "American Idol" and "Britain's Got Talent." Perhaps Cowell's prankster was a bitter show contestant who got the boot?

Earlier on HuffPost:

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