Katie Couric 911 Calls Were Not Prank, But Caused by Bad Wiring, Source Says

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 11:23 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The series of early morning bogus 911 calls that sent police rushing to Katie Couric’s New York City apartment were the result of faulty wiring, not a prankster as was originally thought.

In an interview with an unnamed police source, the New York Daily News confirmed Tuesday that the phony 911 calls were a “technical glitch” triggered by “old wiring that literally would get crossed and send out a series of tones.”

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The tones would occasionally dial 911.

“[Couric] was not the victim of any sort of scam,” the source said.

There were at least 10 calls that appeared to have been made from Couric’s late husband Jay Monahan’s landline.

“It’s happened like three times the last three weeks,” Couric reportedly told the audience during her talk show “Katie” in February. “Every day, every time at 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I was out of town the last time it happened and apparently it happened before when nobody was home.”

Rattled by the calls, Couric appealed to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly for help.

“So I called Ray Kelly, who I know just through the years seeing at different things. ‘Ray, this is so weird but can you help me? I don’t know what to do,’” Couric said, according to a member of the audience who spoke with the Daily News after the show.

At first, authorities thought the calls came from a “spoofing” service that allows people to access a person’s voicemail, as long as it is not password protected. The service then allows the prankster to make calls from the victim’s phone number.

“The service manipulates the phone system,” Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee, told the Daily News. “It essentially tells the caller ID that another number is calling you.”

Siciliano added that the “spoofing” software is accessible through an online download as well as an app available on most smartphones.

“The fact that it’s not being used more widely is surprising,” he said.

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