British Columbia

Ashley Lynch terrorized after 'swatting attack'

A Burnaby, B.C. woman says she was the victim of a 'swatting attack' after a bogus caller told police she had firearms and explosives at her home.

Woman says bogus call to police claimed she had firearms, explosives at her home

Ashley Lynch says she was the victim of a 'swatting attack' after a bogus caller told police she had firearms and explosives at her home. (CBC News)

A Burnaby, B.C. woman says she was the victim of a 'swatting attack' after a bogus caller told police she had firearms and explosives at her home.

Ashley Lynch was at home when police knocked on her door just after midnight. 

"Police showed up at my door with an anonymous call that I had firearms and explosives in my home, which of course I did not," she said. 

Burnaby RCMP say these types of hoaxes and prank calls — often referred to as 'swatting' because a swat team is sent to schools and homes — is a growing problem. 

"You are not only wasting police resources but are putting people's lives in danger," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Maj. John Buis.

Lynch says her personal information — including her name, address, email and social media accounts — appeared on the notorious message board 8-CHAN, whose users Lynch had apparently offended when she followed one of their critics on Twitter.

She believes that information was used to make the prank call to police. 

"We weren't able to find anything untoward," said Buis. "So we made the approach to the resident, who was concerned and visibly upset and concerned about what had taken place, the accusations against her."

Last month, a Coquitlam, B.C. teen was arrested after calling Florida police when he said he was going to shoot people at a high school.

Tech security experts say that tracking down the culprits behind these prank calls can be a challenge depending on the sophistication of their handiwork. 

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