Missouri law enforcement agencies warn spoof calls can be traced

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 5:27 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Law enforcement agencies across Missouri are investigating who made dozens of fake 911 calls about school shootings Monday.

Investigators say the calls likely all came from a single source.

“It literally takes less than five minutes for most people who are smart and know how to use phones,” Ethan Cox, who owns The Cellphone Doctor in Springfield, says.

Cox says the technology is more commonly used for prank calls.

“Most of the time, it is just teenagers trying to have fun, but unfortunately other situations, severe bad things can happen,” he adds.

Sergeant Mike McClure of the Missouri Highway Patrol was one of those who responded to the calls made Monday. He says to think twice if you could pull off a spoof or swatting call.

“Understand that there are others even smarter than you, and they’re on our side,” Sgt. McClure says.

“A lot of the local law enforcement agencies will crack down on it,” Cox says. “If they can get a hold of the number long enough, they can figure out whose calling... they can track down the IP of it.”

The phone calls and texts across the state alerting authorities of a school shooting aren’t new. Similar ones have popped up across the United States. In November, a threat came into Hillcrest High school, which remains under investigation.

Even with that knowledge, the Missouri Highway Patrol says law enforcement treats every threat like it’s real.

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