St. Lawrence County sheriff's deputies warn public of swatting hoaxes aimed at schools
CANTON -- St. Lawrence County sheriff's deputies are making the public aware of swatting hoaxes aimed at schools.
Deputies said there have been several cases in February this week where unfounded calls reported active shooter situations at Vermont schools.Following investigation it was determined the calls were part of a coordinated hoax, sometimes known as swatting.
Swatting is falsely reporting emergencies or threats of violence with are intended to invoke large police response, officers said. In this case, the incidents are considered an act of terrorists designed to create chaos and added fear in communities.
Deputies noted that schools in Maine and New Hampshire have been targeted in recent months as well.
Swatting calls happen all over the county, and sometimes are made in St. Lawrence County, deputies said. Many calls originate from outside the United States.
Deputies remind residents that all calls will be taken seriously and no call will be dismissed as a hoax.
"Any threats made to our schools will be fully investigated to ensure public safety to our communities," a statement from the sheriff's office said.