Prank phone calls sends SWAT team to Sanford family home multiple times

For two straight nights, a Sanford family has been woken up numerous times during the early hours of the morning. Each time the knock at the door came from Sanford Police. 

"Open the door! Come to the door," said Sanford Police. 

The interaction Thursday morning at 3 a.m. was captured on the family Ring camera. The video shows officers with riot shields, flashlights, and guns drawn pointing at the Tackett’s front door. 

A sleepy-looking teen answers the door and immediately says he’s been scammed. 

"Are they swatting you," asked Police. "Yes," said the teen.

Swatting is a scam where pranksters make fake calls to the police in hopes of getting swat teams called to a home. This time the fake caller told Sanford Police that a shooting had just happened inside the home on Lusitano Way and the family was being held, hostage. These kinds of fake calls can turn dangerous.

"If my son, walked out the door with a phone in his hand or anything they may have misconstrued that as something else," said the teen’s father Bill Tackett. "Not saying that they did because they handled it really well in my opinion."

Luckily, everything was sorted out fast. Tackett’s son told investigators he clicked on a link in a chatroom on the app Discord. Doing so allowed scammers to hack his account and take all of his information. 

"They started sending him pictures from inside our home. From Zillow probably because they Googled the address and threatened that they were going to swat or swatting our house," said Tackett. 

Although, this wasn’t the end of the trouble that night. Police were back out 45 minutes later for another call. 

"Another one," asked Tackett. "Come on in."

Then the next night, the same thing. 

"My wife said jokingly before going to bed, it could happen again tonight. Well, it did," said Tackett. 

Sanford Police say that this is the first time they have had reports of swatting in the city, but the issue is nationwide. 

"I’m hoping that they are able to get enough information to prosecute whoever is doing this," said Tackett. 

Police were able to get phone numbers and screen names of some of the people who made threats online or called the police. If those people are caught, they face some hefty felony charges.