Police in the Williamsport area were contacted when a boy reported being asked if he wanted a ride after school.
The man behind the wheel was a stranger, and police believe he may have been trying to lure the child into his van.
It happened earlier this week.
Police and school officials reacted soon after the middle-school-age student told them about the incident Tuesday.
The Williamsport Area School District alerted parents who were urged to warn their children against coming in contact with strangers.
While students played outside Round Hills Elementary near Williamsport, school officials and police were growing concerned over the report of an attempted abduction.
Tuesday afternoon, investigators said, a 12-year-old boy was walking along Dewey Avenue near the city. The boy said a man in a white van with tinted windows rolled down his window and asked the boy if he wanted a ride. The boy said no, and the man allegedly threatened him. The boy ran home and told police.
"It's very frightening," said Candice Temple. She dropped her son off at school and got word of the reported child luring attempt through the school district. That led to her reminding her kids what to do if a stranger offers them a ride.
"Say loud, no, or run away. Go to security officer at bus stop, and tell an adult," Temple added.
District officials sent what is called parent link messages to parents either by email or phone letting parents know they should be on the lookout. Then they reminded students to be careful.
"All the elementary and middle school principals read at their closing announcements in the day reminding kids not to engage strangers, and stay away from someone who may want to do them harm," said David Wright of Williamsport Area School District.
Sandra Bair lives near where Tuesday's reported attempt took place. She said she will be keeping a closer eye out for children, making sure no one tries to harm them.
"I'm very concerned for the danger of young children, especially. No child is safe not even a 16 year old anymore. You just never know what someone is going to think of when they see that little kid," Bair said.
Anyone who might have information about the attempted luring of that child is asked to call Old Lycoming Township police at 570-329-4060.