Threatening Momo Challenge invades WhatsApp users

By P T Usha Published on Aug 11, 2018 05:46 PM IST

Chennai: A new threat to the city girls is in the form of #momochallenge. According to this, a user who has an alien-kind of DP (display picture) texts anyone through WhatsApp and plays a game by giving tasks to perform.

Remember Bluewhale? Yes. But the Momo threat seems to be even riskier.

"I did not receive the message directly. But, a friend of mine, did. First it says 'Hi' and asks you to reply. Also, it gives a task to the particular user to click a mirror selfie and send it. It also says, if neglected, the account of the particular user will be hacked. Though this does not seem to be a serious one to me, as it was said to have happened to a third person, this creates some kind of threat to me," says Nanitha, a PG student.

Another student says, "There are many hackers who involve in cyber crime these days. In that line, this sounds quite threatening. In fact, many forward messages come up, asking girls who use WhatsApp not to reply to texts from unknown numbers. Some forward messages even suggest girls to remove their DPs. However, no victims have come up with official complaints till now. We have to wait and see."

TROLLS FLY

Meme creators have taken up the #momochallenge as their main concept for the past two days and trolling this on Facebook and Instagram. All memes were so humorous and make the issue seem cool. Still, the seriousness of the issue is not known, yet. Some memes with templates from movies like 'Vasool Raja MBBS' and other Vadivelu movie-based templates make us laugh out loud, while scrolling the newsfeed.

SO, WHAT DO WE DO?

Maryam, a 22-year-old girl got text from a private number carrying the display picture of 'momo'. 'I was initially scared but thankfully my friends helped me. They asked me to block the number, delete the chat and turn off the auto-download option,' she explained.

NO COMPLAINTS YET, COPS SAY

A cyber crime official said, 'Although no official complaints about the momo challenge is registered yet, the hoax is a threatening one. As of now, though Chennai users are said to have received the texts, no formal complaint has been received. However, parents should keep an eye on their children, especially the teenagers. Have an open talk about the issue and watch their behavioural changes.'

A report also claimed that it is believed these online games were communicated on a one-on-one communication through encrypted/ secretive communication links which makes it very difficult to identify, intercept and analyse the contents.

 

TOY STORY
The half-bald girl with the eyes bulging out and a beak-like mouth is how the momo is picturised. But who designed this picture, originally? As per reports, this picture is actually designed by a special effects company, Link Factory in Japan.

This was even displayed in Tokyo's horror art gallery as 'Mother Bird'. This picture then is said to be circulated across social media and has taken a new avatar as 'momo game'. Although it is disturbing to look at, the original artwork was never meant to be a part of the sinister game it is being used for now.