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Justin Timberlake became a "swatting" victim this week after police responded to a hoax report suggesting four men had entered his Los Angeles home and fired off guns.

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The latest incident, on Friday, came just a day after Rihanna's home in Pacific Palisades was targeted by a prank call drawing emergency services on a fake call-out, and two days after Sean "Diddy" Combs' estate was at the center of a fake report drama.

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Officials at the Los Angeles Police Department have launched a new initiative to crackdown on crank callers who "swat" the homes of celebrities. Dispatchers are being trained to help identify when a prankster reports violence in a bid to stop calls diverting resources from responding to real crimes.

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A 12-year-old boy was recently charged with making false threats about supposed incidents at the homes of Justin Bieber and actor Ashton Kutcher.

Other recent swatting targets have included Simon Cowell, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna's boyfriend Chris Brown and Tom Cruise. Singer/actress Selena Gomez fell victim to a similar hoax on Friday just hours after Timberlake was targeted.