Pokimane is one of the biggest female streamers on Twitch, boasting over 3.4 million followers as of the time of this article. Sadly, big internet personalities are often prime targets for swat attacks as people think it’s funny to call in a fake emergency.
The Moroccan-Canadian thought she had been swatted during her September 23 live broadcast of Portal 2, and looked genuinely terrified as ‘police’ entered her bedroom unexpectedly.
Pokimane was “swatted”
Swatting happens when a person makes a prank call to emergency services at an attempt to bring a large number of armed police to their victim’s house. Pokimane thought she’d been the target of such an attack when officers showed up in the background of her broadcast.
“Good afternoon, ma’am,” one of the men said. “Yes?” the streamer replied, obviously bewildered as to what they were doing in her bedroom.
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“Uh, we have complaints about the noise level in this house,” he continued. Poki was automatically apologetic when she heard this, and exclaimed “Oh, I’m so sorry!”
“Yeah… So do you have a permit to be filming in this area?” the policeman finished, before the 23-year-old’s friend burst through the door with a megaphone, revealing the whole thing to be an elaborate prank. “CUT! Can we cut there?! Okay, thank you!”
Upon finding out she’d been tricked, Pokimane turned back around to face her streaming camera, eyes wide with shock. “I… OH MY GOD. WHAT THE?” she screamed as everyone in the room burst into hysterics at what had just happened.
“I was like PLEASE NOT A SWATTING! Either this is a prank or I’m actually in trouble,” the Twitch star laughed, before continuing. “But either way, JUST COMPLY, COMPLY. Oh my God!”
Swatting can be serious
Luckily for Poki, her ‘swatting’ was just a joke orchestrated by a friend, but other people haven’t been so fortunate.
Fortnite World Cup winner Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf fell victim to an attack on August 10 while playing the battle royale title. Thankfully, one of the officers sent to the pro’s house actually knew of the gaming star, so the situation was cleared up swiftly.
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Not everybody is so lucky though – on September 13, Call of Duty player Casey Viner was sentenced to 15 months in prison after a now-infamous swatting attack against teammate Shane Gaskill.
The attack led to the death of Andrew Finch, who was fatally shot by police after they’d been given an incorrect home address for Gaskill, as reported by NBC.
US District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced Viner to 15 months in jail on September 13, and he was also restricted from all gaming activities for two years.