• Law enforcement warns Jacksonville area parents about dangerous, trendy app game

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax

    Updated:

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    Law enforcement is warning parents about a new challenge that can turn deadly.

    The so-called game is called the Momo and it is gaining popularity on WhatsApp by targeting teens.

    The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office sent out a post on social media warning parents about the so-called game that is targeting kids.

    “I don’t like that at all,” father Austin Barbour said.

    The most popular app where it is used is WhatsApp.

    “They send that picture and then they threaten you with personal information, private pictures and they try to convince you to kill yourself,” Justin Ocharan said.

    The challenge asks people to add a contact and as the process continues Momo tries to blackmail them into doing things they wouldn’t normally do. 

    “I think it’s a game of confidence. They seem like they know something and lead someone to believe they know more,” technology expert, Gray Mabry said.

    Mabry said parents should be checking to see who their kids are talking to.

    “Anytime there is communication on a device from someone you don’t know it’s concerning,” Mabry said.

    Action News Jax reporter Danielle Avitable went around and showed parents and their kids the image behind Momo and asked if they had heard of it.

    “He’s 11 years old and he just got the phone a couple months ago for school, so I’ll definitely talk to him,” Barbour said.

    A WhatsApp spokesperson sent Fox News this statement:

    “WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. It’s easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages to us so we can take action.”

    Police in Argentina are looking into whether this so-called game is connected to a 12-year-old’s suicide.

    The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said there haven’t been any local incidents, but people are talking about the game online.

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