COPS are warning parents to be on their guard against a terrifying hoax craze which urges teens to go MISSING for days.
Officers believe the shocking ’48-hour challenge’ poses a serious risk to those vulnerable children who follow its bizarre rules.
Getty – Contributor Kids as young as 14 are reportedly urged to run away and cut off all contact for two days
“Whether it’s a prank or not, we are going to use the same amount of resources,” Officer Simon Drobik, of the Albuquerque Police Department told KMOV news.
The authorities say because of other online viral pranks including the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ and the ‘Bird Box Challenge’ they have to take the latest threat seriously.
However, anyone caught participating in the online challenge could find themselves facing charges, police have warned.
For the “game”, kids as young as 14 are reportedly urged to run away and cut off all contact with family and friends for two days.
Participants are said to get a higher score for each time the fact they are missing is mentioned anywhere on social media.
It appears to be a copycat version of the ‘Game of 72’ which circulated in Europe a few years ago, in which children were told to go missing for up to three days.
One County Derry mum told Belfast Live that her family was left with “unspeakable” anxiety from the “sick” competition.
She said her child, along with others, left the County Down and County Antrim areas and were found 55 hours later in Ballymena.
“I was terrified they were dead or would be raped, trafficked or killed,” she said. But these kids just think it’s funny.
“There was not even a moment of remorse when my child was taken into police custody and when the police brought my child home, I could see posts of selfies from the police car.”
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As a result of their high-profile disappearance, she said she’d since discovered that her children were in the lead on the game within their social circle.
In October, we reported how teens were choking each other in a dangerous hide-and-seek game called Manhunt!
Authorities even released a stark warning about the game that sees kids choke each other when they are found.
Getty – Contributor Participants are said to get a higher score for each time the fact they are missing is mentioned on social media
Teenage driver smashed into another vehicle while attempting the Bird Box Challenge in Utah