A viral online 'challenge' that allegedly encourages children to hurt themselves has sparked fears among parents and schools.
But experts say there is no evidence that the 'Momo Challenge' has caused any incident of self harm - though the resulting hysteria poses a risk.
Several Blackpool schools, including Revoe Learning Academy, St George's School, and Layton Primary School, have issued warnings to parents about 'Momo' - really a model created by a special effects company - who allegedly tells children to take part in depraved 'challenges' on WhatsApp, Youtube and other social media.
Incidents of self harm and suicide have been blamed on the so-called 'challenge'.
But the UK Safer Internet Centre told the Guardian that it was 'fake news'.
Samaritans said it was "not aware of any verified evidence in this country or beyond" linking the Momo Challenge to self harm, while the NSPCC said it had received more calls from the media than from concerned parents.
Hoax-busting website Snopes said: "A good deal of skepticism remains that the existence of the Momo challenge may be far more hype or hoax than reality, with many critics citing the paucity of screenshots and videos documenting interactions with Momo.
"Nonetheless, reignited fears over 'Momo' continue to pop up in social media posts."