By Alison Cutler
The Charlotte Observer
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JACKSON, Tenn. — It was Monday, Nov. 7, when a family got a string of jarring texts and calls. A 37-year-old woman had been kidnapped, she said, and was in danger.
After an investigation by the Jackson Police Department, officers found the woman at home in Tennessee — and she told them it was all a hoax, police said in a news release.
The woman contacted a family member and said she had been taken against her will, the release said. She also included detailed descriptions of the vehicle she was taken in and her abductors.
She told police the calls and texts were a prank for a TikTok video, police said in the release.
She was arrested and charged with filing a false report, according to the police department.
Kidnapping pranks on TikTok have gone awry before, including when one mom nearly got arrested after her son pranked a store employee for a TikTok video in 2021 that got over 9 million views.
As of Nov. 9, the hashtag #kidnapchallenge has 506,000 views and #kidnap has 1.7 billion views, driving traffic for kidnap-related content on the platform.
“Fortunately, (the woman) was unharmed and this was a prank, however numerous police officers were pulled from their duties to investigate the reported abduction,” the release said. “These social media challenges and pranks are a current trend.”
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