Police have reassured people that reports of an escaped prisoner being on the loose in Cavendish were a hoax.
On Tuesday, reports surfaced on Facebook, a social networking website, that a “known sex offender” had skipped court and was in Cavendish.
It prompted a flurry of messages and warnings, mostly posted by worried mothers, telling others to be careful.
But police said the reports were not true and it was, in fact, all a hoax.
Detective Sergeant Jack Blowers, from Suffolk Police, said: “Police received a call at around 11am on Tuesday relating to a rumour that an escaped prisoner was heading for a school in Cavendish.
“This allegation was investigated and found to have no substance and appeared to be the result of a malicious hoax.
“I would like to reassure people in the area that there is no such person at large and there is nothing to be concerned about.”
The reports said a mother had witnessed a man grabbing the hand of her pre-school daughter outside Cavendish Primary School and refused to let go. The man, described as in his 60s and carrying a satchel, then made comments about the girl.
It said the incident prompted a meeting at the school with parents.
But a spokeswoman for Cavendish Primary School said the reports were “complete nonsense”.
A police spokeswoman said: “There is no truth in it at all. This was a hoax.”