Simon Cowell may be a cad, but he’s not a criminal.
On Sunday, Beverly Hills police received a call about a disturbance at Cowell’s home, EW confirmed. The caller, who used a number from outside the city, gave the department Cowell’s Beverly Hills address and claimed that someone had been tied up with duct tape and needed assistance. Officers contacted the X-Factor creator and confirmed that the report was fake.
Cowell isn’t the first celebrity to fall prey to such a hoax. Since August, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and the Kardashians have all been targeted by prank police calls. The practice, called “swatting,” involves false reports of emergencies in order to elicit SWAT responses and other police action. There are an estimated 400 occurrences every year, enough to prompt congressional action in June. At the federal level, the crime carries a prison sentence of 5-10 years.
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