Police say mobs of terrified villagers have killed at least three people and attacked several others in southern India after social media messages warned that gangs of kidnappers were roaming the region in search of children.

Police say there is no indication that such gangs actually exist.

Police officer E. Ramchandra Reddy says six villagers have been arrested for allegedly killing a 33-year-old motorized rickshaw driver in Jiyapalli, a village in Telangana state, on Wednesday night. The villagers suspected the driver was a child abductor.

Two deaths were reported in similar attacks Tuesday in other villages in the state, Reddy said Friday.

T. Suneel Kumar, a top police officer in neighboring Karnataka state, said there have been no incidents of gangs abducting children, despite video messages circulating on social media.