CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A new social media game is being called sick, upsetting and alarming. It's called the 48-hour challenge and it's being reported on across the United Kingdom.
In the game, players are allegedly encouraged to disappear for two days. When their parents or loved ones make desperate Facebook posts to find them, the missing teens get a higher score.
"It's disturbing because it's something we take it so seriously and for someone to take it as a prank or a joke is very alarming," said Detective Lee Tuttle with CMPD's Missing Persons Unit.
Tuttle says he is not aware of any cases in the U.S. and definitely none in Charlotte where teens have tried the 48-Hour Challenge, but he wants to warn parents to talk to their teens before they become victims of this dangerous cyber game.
"Tell them how serious what being missing is and how big a deal it really is because of the emotional and physical strain on families and then the resource strain on a police department such as ours," Tuttle said.
CMPD 2,500 to 3,000 missing persons cases every year, and a lot of them are teenagers.
"It's important for them not to assume that their teenager's absence is a game or a gimmick."
Tuttle says if your teen goes missing, contact police right away. Don't wait, even if you think they're doing the 48-hour challenge because you may be wrong and they may really need help.
"We just want to encourage families that it is serious and to contact 911 as soon as they believe their loved one is missing," Tuttle said.