EDMONTON - Edmonton police say they've been a victim of a prank and they're not happy about it.
Police say they got a weapons complaint late Thursday night about a residence in the southeast part of the city.
They responded with patrol and tactical team officers, a canine unit, police helicopter, and emergency medical services, and set up a command post.
But it turned out the residents of the house were the victims of "swatting."
Police say swatting is a false report called into 911 about a serious incident often involving weapons and suggesting lives are at risk.
SWAT, the acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics, is commonly used name for special law enforcement units called out to high-risk operations.
Edmonton police say it's difficult to figure out where the call comes from and often these calls involve video gamers.
“This is a crime of public mischief,” says Insp. Regan James. “These false calls can put a significant strain on emergency services and resources and affect other legitimate calls for service.”
Police continue to investigate.
Also on HuffPost:
THE HITLER DIARIES
"When such a scoop is offered, you don't really want to hear anything that would cast doubt on its veracity," the ex Sunday Times deputy editor Brian MacArthur later admitted. The "mind-numbingly banal' diaries were authenticated by historianHugh Trevor-Roper, not only, but pretty much on the basis of 'what kind of madmen would possible BOTHER to spend so long forging these tedious diaries?' That man was Konrad Kujau, who faked over 61 versions of the diary, full of anachronisms, inaccuracies and written on paper aged with tea bags.
Fake pictures of abuse by British troops
After the media storm around torture by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib, when the pictures of of Iraqi prisoners allegedly being tortured by British soldiers landed on the desk of Mirror editor Piers Morgan, the staff really, really wanted to believe they were real. Still hot on the newsstands, people were suspicious. The 'prisoners' seemed pretty nonchalant about having a boot on their throat or urine on their face, they weren't bruised, they weren't sweating. The uniforms were wrong, the vehicles pictured weren't deployed in Iraq. Smelling blood, The Sun newspaper offered a £50,000 reward for "information about the fake Mirror photos" Two weeks later the Daily Mirror admitted it had been duped and fired Morgan.
Dallas Cowboys v San Diego Chargers
Not many hoaxes are more batshit crazy than former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend Lennay Kekua. Te'o spoke lovingly of his girlfriend in many interviews, her triumph at Stanford University, surviving a car accident, only then tragically dying of leukemia months later. But she didn't exist. An investigation by Deadspin found she was the creation of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a former high school quarterback from California who became a religious musician. Te'o admitted he'd never actually met his girlfriend, who he only chatted to online. Tuiasosopo admitted to the hoax and said he fell in love with Te’o through the online persona. Te'o claims he was never in on the hoax, and was only told his girlfriend was a figment of a Californian's imagination shortly before the news broke.
McCain Volunteer 'Mutilated' By Obama Supporter
Several media outlets (the vast majority conservative) were left with egg on their faces after they trumpeted up the tale of a McCain volunteer who claimed to have been assaulted by a large black man because of a McCain bumper sticker on her car. On her face was carved a backwards 'B' (meant to represent Obama's name). The Drudge Report called it "mutilation." The College Republicans - a group of which 'victim' Ashley Todd is a member - sought to distance themselves from the whole affair, telling the Huffington Post: "We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit. Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions."
Dihydrogen monoxide hoax
It's an oldie, but a goodie. It's first appearance in the mainstream media was in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in an article about the Coalition to Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide. Dihydrogen Monoxide is very dangerous. It is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, is fatal if inhaled and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients. Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used as an industrial solvent and coolant, in nuclear power plans, and in the production of Styrofoam. It's water, if you didn't already know that.
George W Bush has the lowest IQ of all presidents
Ok, not difficult to believe that the Guardian fell for this one. It quoted the report from the Lovenstein Institute in its diary section of July 19, 2001 and used it to belittle Bush. Other mainstream media news outlets to fall for the hoax included Bild, Pravda, and the Southland Times as well as a few small US newspapers. But it was an elaborate hoax, pranksters even went so far as to create the Lovenstein Institute website. You'll probably see this one crop up again from time to time...
Guy Goma at the BBC
This was cock-up, not conspiracy, but worthy of mention. The abject terror slowly creeping across Guy Goma's features, as the data support worker was accidentally bundled on TV, is the face that spawned a thousand memes. Introduced as Guy Kewney, editor of the technology website Newswireless, Goma bravely soldiered through, telling the presenter "everyone is downloading things everywhere" and that it is "much better for development to give people what they want".
Russian Tanks Invade Georgia, Assassinate President
This is not a particularly funny hoax. Atrocious might be a better description. Imedi News in Georgia reported that Russian tanks had rolled into the country, and that the President had been assassinated. Imedi claimed it was a "simulated" news report gone awry, but it was picked up and reported as truth across the country, causing widespread panic.
Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama
Not only did Fars copy the story, word-for-word, from another news site and post it as their own story, they didn't check what that news site was. It was the Onion.
The Tourist Guy
Most mainstream media in the US were understandably sceptical about this photo, which as widely circulated on email, though it did make its way onto a fair few blogs and foreign news sites touted as genuine. But there's a lot wrong with it, even with layman's eyes. How could a camera fall 110 floors and miraculously be found, unscathed? Why is the man wearing winter clothes on a warm September day? Only the South tower had an observation deck, but the north was hit first. So unless this chap decided to go for a scramble up to the observation deck, after the tower's twin was in flames, it seems unlikely. And it was fake, created in MS Paint, no less.