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Appleton police: Phone scam leads to "swatting" incident

An Appleton Police squad car. (Photo from: FOX 11).
An Appleton Police squad car. (Photo from: FOX 11).

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Appleton police say a fake report of domestic violence led officers to arrest a man for a short time.

Authorities say the incident stemmed from a common fraudulent call, known as "swatting."

Police say on Wednesday, an Appleton couple got a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. Suspicious of the call, the couple challenged the caller's authenticity.

After that, the caller contacted Appleton PD claiming to be a woman locked inside the bedroom with her two young children at the couple's home. The caller said her husband was drunk and armed with a knife.

Authorities responded to the area, located the man and arrested him. They then found the female resident of the home. Officers quickly realized the call wasn't placed by either of them and determined the incident was connected to the call the couple got earlier.

Investigators say the call looks to be part of an international scheme. Officers are urging people to hang up on suspicious calls and not return suspicious voice mail or e-mail messages.