Beware of the “Momo Challenge”

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Provided by Prince William County Police

The Momo Challenge starts as a game on WhatsApp. It also has ties to YouTube and Facebook. The challenge begins by asking the user to add Momo as a contact. The Momo contact then encourages the user, generally youth or young adults, to harm themselves and possibly commit suicide. The Momo contact uses bullying techniques by threatening or sending violent images to gain compliance.

Parents, be aware of what your children are doing online and with whom they are communicating.

  • Start talking with your children early, especially when they start to use electronic devices (cell phone, tablet, computer, etc.).
  • Initiate the conversation with your children; do not wait for them to come to you.
  • Communicate your expectations honestly about online content.
  • Supervision is important. If you are not available 24/7 to monitor your child’s internet activity, consider parental controls. Some parental controls are:
    • Filtering and blocking content that contains certain words or images.
    • Blocking outgoing content such as photos or personal information.
    • Limiting the time a child is allowed online.
    • Kid-oriented search engines filter search results only allowing material that is appropriate for a child.
    • Monitoring tools allow parents to be notified in the event your child accesses a questionable website.
    • Create an electronic contract with your children.

Please keep an open dialogue with your children. Talk with them often about their online activity.

For more information, visit abc11.com/police-warning-parents-about-momo-challenge-that-may-encourage-suicide/3892458/ and consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0038-onguardonline.

Report all suspicious activity to the police!

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