Beware: The Momo Challenge WhatsApp suicide game lands in India

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Aug 22: Momo is a disturbing WhatsApp suicide game that has claimed the life of a 12 year old girl in Argentina. The game has now found its way into India with a college student from West Bengal filing a complaint with the police about an unknown caller trying to incite her into taking part in the Memo Game Challenge.

Police forces in several countries have expressed concern about Momo, which is similar to the Blue Whale 'challenge' that led to reports of 130 suicides in Russia.

According to the Computer Crime Investigation Unit in the Mexican state of Tabasco, the game started on Facebook where members were "challenged" to communicate with an unknown number.

Also Read | Now, Whatsapp game 'Momo challenge' provoking teens to commit suicide

The avatar used by Momo is an image of a woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game in any way.

In her complaint, the first year college student from Jalpaiguri said that following a spat with her mother, she had posted in the social media that she wished to take her own life.

She soon received a Whatsapp message over her mobile phone from an unknown number allegedly inviting her to take the Momo Game challenge. When she sought to know the sender's identity, the person revealed it verbally, she claimed.

Scared over the situation, the girl claimed she had informed her elder brother, who warned her against participating in the game. She then informed the police.

The BBC News Portuguese language site citing Rodrigo Nejm of Brazil's NGO Safernet said it's unclear how widespread the game is but claimed it was most likely a form of "bait" used by criminals to steal data and extort people on the internet.

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