FBI in KC warns kids that posting fake threats is a serious federal crime

December 12, 2018 - 7:17 am

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reminding young people in the Kansas City area that online hoax threats are no laughing matter.

The FBI has set up billboards to warn people that the threats constitute a serious federal crime. 

"With the holidays coming up, and with the end of the first semester of school coming up, we want to remind students and the public of the seriousness of these threats," said Bridgett Patton, local FBI spokeswoman.

"Number one, don’t ever call, email, text or post any kind of threat online," said Special Agent in Charge Darrin Jones in a prepared message. "Number two, if you become aware of anyone planning to make a hoax threat, tell a school official or contact law enforcement immediately." 

The FBI also wants to put out the message that "swatting" is a federal offense. Swatting is defined as making a false report of a dangerous situation that is designed to attract a large police response, sometimes including a SWAT team.

Making hoax threats can lead to fines and affect a young person's ability to pursue higher education or find work in the future.

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