The fliers started appearing around downtown Charleston Monday night, stapled to utility poles and crying for attention: “HAVE YOU SEEN ME?”

A young man in a tuxedo smiles from a photo in the center of the flier below these words: “This man got me pregnant and won’t return my phone call’s.” A name and number to contact are also listed, along with a plea to call “if you see him around!!!!”

The fliers sparked comments, concern and consternation after they popped up by the dozen along King Street and other busy thoroughfares. By this morning, photos of the deadbeat dad poster were spreading across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It turns out, however, that the whole thing was a prank, orchestrated by a group of longtime friends with a penchant for punking one another.

The victim in this case was Brandon Cordina, a 21-year-old Trident Technical College student whose Wando High graduation photo was repurposed for the prank. He said he got so many online comments and friend requests that his phone froze up for a while today.

Many recognized the joke and gave him good-natured ribbing. But some strangers took him to task, urging him to “Man-up, Dude!”

“Most of them thought it was pretty hilarious,” he said.

He laughed as well, but he’s also in the process of plotting his revenge.

“We are fully prepared for that,” his roommate, Jackson Clark, who was part of the prank, said.

Read more about the prank and the people responsible in Wednesday’s Post and Courier.