Two women and a man driving in a black car have recently been luring children to kidnap them. Or, the black car was swapped with a white van resembling an ambulance.
This fake news has recently taken over Facebook and Instagram users in Slovakia. In addition, many have reached out to the police to check the situation.
"No kidnapping of children, or teenagers, has occurred in the territory of the Slovak Republic," the police posted on Facebook, adding that no child abduction has ever been recorded.
However, some are determined to argue that the hoax is actually true, the police wrote.
Villages in northern Slovakia mentioned
The fake news posts include the villages in northern Slovakia, namely Toporec and Podhorany, near Kežmarok (the Prešov Region), and Spišský Štvrtok, near Levoča (also the Prešov Region), as reported by the Sme daily.
"We have patrols, the police come here," Toporec Mayor Gustáv Pompa told the private broadcaster TV JOJ.
They also have CCTV cameras in the village, he added.
"Running away from home, escaping with older partners and parental child abduction are the most common reasons for children going missing," the police stated.
One of the hoaxers found
The police have already found one of the Instagram users sharing the child abduction hoax.
"A woman was worried about her siblings in the first moment and so published the post," the police informed in their Facebook video.
She soon realized that the post was silly and deleted it, but other users had already shared it, the police added.
"We'd like to remind that scaremongering is a criminal act, for which one can spend two years in prison, and even up to eight years under some conditions," the police have warned.
People watch out for your children... in the vicinity of Ihľany and Toporec a black Octavia with a Spišská Nová Ves (SN) number plate is driving.. they are kidnapping children, aged 10 to 16... they may already have exchanged the car... they are reportedly 3... 2 women and a man... luring children, watch out!! They may also be moving around our place be careful!! And watch out for fake police cars they handcuff people help one another and share this!!„
17. Jan 2019 at 14:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff