The “Momo Challenge”

The Sarnia Police Service has been made aware of a current concern that goes by the name of the “Momo Challenge”. Basically, this “game” appears to mainly affect wireless devices such as cell phones and tablets. An attached picture will pop-up while on Youtube video or games for kids such as Minecraft and begin to interact with the child. The pop ad for the “Momo Challenge” will state something innocently enough like “say hi to Momo” in hope that the person will interact with it. The unsuspecting person might click and say hi, allowing the program to grab the contacts and IP address and other info (i.e, GPS). Over time (days or weeks) the program pops up again and asks if you want to play a game with Momo, such as taking a picture of you waiving out the window. This continues and becomes increasingly more sinister as it gives more challenges and tells you to take a picture to prove what you have done. Over the course of time the challenges increase such as “Take a picture of yourself slapping a dog or take a picture of you cutting your hand, go take a picture of you setting fire to something in the back yard,” etc. If the challenges are ignored or not complied with, Momo will continue to prompt the user in the following days, stating “I haven’t heard from you in a couple of days, have you done your challenge?” and progressively becoming more of a nuisance until eventually threatening harm to the user or their family (“do it or I’m going to find your family and kill your mother”). Unfortunately in other countries individuals have fallen victim to this and some have lost their lives because of this heinous prank. Ultimately the “Momo Challenge” is a means to insert spy ware on your computer and gather information, and secondly, to cause distress in people’s lives via threats. Fortunately, the Sarnia Police Service has not had to deal with anything related to the “Momo Challenge”, rather, it wants to make the public aware of its existence and the need to inform you children not to interact with the pop up. Rather, immediately shut off the program your on and don’t open up that specific video you watched. Take the time to monitor what sites your children have been on to ensure nothing has happened and talk to your children about this issue to avoid further problems. 

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