An Indiana county sheriff’s office warned parents about a “new challenge” involving kids and urged adults to talk to their teens about social media.
The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s office said a so-called “48-hour challenge” encourages teens to go missing for up to two days at a time and awards points for every social media mention while they are missing.
"We are not trying to cause a panic amongst our community and we are not aware of any reports being taken for this now, but we would not be doing our job if we didn't make you aware of a new 'challenge' that could become an issue," the sheriff's office wrote on their Facebook page Monday.
The office warned that such a challenge could be very dangerous not just for teens involved.
“Runaway and missing person reports are very serious matters and to use these attention seeking type challenges pulls law enforcement away from their many other duties and causes unnecessary anxiety amongst the families and friends that are involved,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook.
Authorities encouraged parents to talk to their children about social media.
“We are trying to educate our community and get out in front of something before it happens,” the post read.
Police departments in other locations across the country have also issued warnings about the challenge, noting that some teens could be criminally charged for intentionally disappearing.
Authorities, however, told the Detroit Free Press at the time there were no reports of the game being played in the area. Snopes.com also labeled the challenge, similar to the UK’s “Game of 72,” a “hoax” at the time.
Still, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s office encouraged parents to “educate yourself as much as you can.”