Cuttack: In the wake of reports of suicide from across the country after playing Momo challenge, Odisha Crime Branch today issued an advisory against the deadly online game to protect the children.
“On social media a game with name MOMO Challenge is being circulated by some mischievous and criminal minded people. This game instigates people, especially children to commit suicide as final task,” the CB said in the advisory.
“Some innocent people around the world have fallen prey to this malicious game. There is need for parents and teachers to be aware of this threat and save the children from it,” the advisory added.
In MOMO Challenge one unknown number having the profile of a girl’s distorted face with protruding eyes and wide mouth appears with a WhatsApp invitation from an unknown number. The perpetrators of this horrific crime monitor the status and profiles of people on social networking websites to target people with suicidal tendencies..
MOMO challenge comes through unknown Whatsapp number. Therefore:
Unknown link coming to your Whatsapp number should be deleted immediately
Unknown number invitation through WhatsApp may be avoided
If some unknown number is asking for playing the game simply block that number.
Signs and Symptoms of victim:
Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
Persistent low mood and unhappiness
Not carrying out day to day tasks
Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others
Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child.
Advise to Parents:-
Please keep your eyes open for:
Unusually secretive behavior of children mostly related to their online activity·
A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially social media·
They seem to change screens on their device when approached·
They become withdrawn or angry, after using the internet or sending text messages·
Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contacts·
Keep close watch on the behavior of your child/children
If you have found that your child knows about somebody playing MOMO challenge games, inform the parents, teachers, guardians of such children
Check with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them or anything that has them worried.
Monitor your child’s online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game.
Install a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps in monitoring your children.
Take reports from teachers in the school at regular intervals.
If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away.
Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges.
Keep a constant watch if your child or child’s friends are involved in some violent act.
Advice to Teachers:-
Keep a close watch on the behavior of all the students
Keep the parents informed about the children who are suspected to be playing MOMO Challenge Games
Conduct a random check of mobile phones of the students if the MOMO challenge applications are installed in their mobile phones and take necessary steps
Keep a constant watch if your students or their friends are involved in some violent act
Advice to Media:-
Media is requested not to publish any unverified news and connect any death/suicides to MOMO challenge without proper verification.
Screenshots of MOMO challenge coming from different number looks like:-