Cybercrime expert is victim of hostage hoax in NJ

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WYCKOFF, N.J. (AP) — A noted cybercrime expert is helping authorities in northern New Jersey determine who placed a fake hostage call that targeted her.

Parry Aftab is a frequent media commentator on Internet privacy and security.

About 30 police and SWAT team members surrounded her home in Wyckoff for about three hours Saturday after a man called police and said he was armed with explosives and had two hostages. The call came from a non-listed number.

Police shot tear gas canisters into the home but found only Aftab’s cat inside.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox says the perpetrator could be charged with making a false police report as well as more serious charges that could lead to jail time.

Aftab says she’s working with computer experts to find the person or group responsible.