Now Soros Has Been Swatted

Police were reportedly called to his Long Island mansion Saturday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2024 6:33 AM CST
Latest Victim in Swatting Spree: Soros
George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundations, looks before the Joseph A. Schumpeter award ceremony in Vienna, Austria, Friday, June 21, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

George Soros has reportedly become the latest high-profile figure to be targeted in a string of swattings. The billionaire philanthropist's estate in Southampton, New York, was swatted around 9pm Saturday, per the New York Post. The Southampton Village Police Department reportedly received a 911 call from a man who claimed to have been suicidal after shooting his wife at the Long Island mansion. An officer who responded later reported that they'd spoken to security, searched the area, and determined it was a "negative problem," per the Post reports. Swatting involves placing a prank call to emergency services with the goal of triggering a large police response, including SWAT teams, to inconvenience and endanger the target.

Soros was vacationing in Barbados last week. It's not known whether the 93-year-old was at home at the time of Saturday's call, per the Post. It follows a string of swattings targeting high-profile figures that began around Christmas. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, New York Rep. Brandon Williams, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and several other Georgia lawmakers were swatted on Christmas Day; four Ohio politicians, including state Rep. Kevin D. Miller and Attorney General David Yost, were swatted Dec. 26; Florida Sen. Rick Scott was swatted Dec. 27; Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones was swatted Thursday; and Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was swatted Friday, along with George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley.

"Swatting is increasingly enabled by technology that can be used to mask a caller's real voice, their phone number, or IP address," NBC News reported this past summer, noting the FBI had formed a national database to track swatting events and share information with law enforcement agencies around the country. "We're taking every step to monitor this national problem and help however we can," Chief Scott Schubert said at the time. Last month, the agency announced the arrest of a California juvenile believed to have been part of a swatting ring that targeted religious, educational, and public institutions, Yahoo reports. The group allegedly placed swatting calls to "at least 25 synagogues in 13 states" between July and August, the FBI said. (More swatting stories.)

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