Police were called to Simon Cowell's home after a prank hostage situation was reported.

Los Angeles police were called to 'The X Factor' USA judge's Beverly Hills estate yesterday (25.11.12) after receiving an emergency call from an unidentified source claiming he was duct taped and being held hostage.

A source told gossip website TMZ.com that the female caller claimed the 53-year-old music mogul was bound and gagged in the bathroom of his sprawling mansion.

Officers believe the call was a prank after they responded in force but found no evidence of a crime.

Simon is said to have been home during the incident and assured police he was fine.

The incident is the latest in a string of celebrity swattings this year - a deliberate attempt to trick an emergency service into dispatching a response team.

Other victims have included Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

Hoax burglaries were reported at both Justin and Ashton's home last month, which reportedly cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles more than £6,000 ($10,000) each in wasted police manpower and other resources.

Officers were called to Miley's home in August after a caller claimed her home had been broken in to but when they arrived at the scene, they discovered it was empty.