A disturbing hoax internet challenge targeting children has gone viral again, and it has impacted one Springfield family.
The Momo Challenge encourages children to message an anonymous number using a free texting app. In turn, the player will receive instruction to harm themselves or others. ‘Momo,’ depicted by a photo of a woman with bulging eyes,’ then threatens violence if the orders aren’t completed.
Springfield mother Stephanie Croteau told 22News a classmate exposed her 8-year-old daughter to the Momo Challenge.
“She didn’t want to go to the bathroom alone, she didn’t want to go to bed alone, she didn’t want to go in the kitchen,” Croteau explained.
At first, Croteau didn’t know why her daughter was acting this way. She only found out why after discovering notes in her daughter’s backpack with written threats and the name ‘Momo’ written all over it.
Croteau said her daughter told her the notes belonged to a classmate. Despite being told the challenge and ‘Momo’ aren’t real, she still remains scared.
Croteau’s advice to parents:
“You have to watch for the signs, and they’re so little,” Croteau said. “The signs started with her being scared. For me to find that information out, I had to find those, and my daughter and I are very close.”