The internet’s terrifying new 'Momo' Challenge has been linked to a 12-year-old girl’s suicide

If you use WhatsApp, you need to read this.

By Natasha Harding
Momo of WhatsApp

You've heard of the Thigh Gap and Mannequin Challenge, but the new viral trend sweeping the Internet is here and it's absolutely terrifying.

Called 'Momo of WhatsApp', this online terror-game invites users to contact 'Momo' by sending messages to an unknown number on WhatsApp. Momo then responds with a series of frightening images and violent messages, before setting a series of objectives for users to complete.

It's thought the people behind 'Momo' gain access to participants' personal information, before using it against them as a form of blackmail.

So far Momo has reportedly been linked to the death of a 12-year-old Argentinian girl, prompting calls to find those responsible for the game.

The Mexican Crime Investigation Unit is investigating the phenomena and released a series of statements on Twitter explaining what they've found.

"It all started in a Facebook group where participants were challenged to start communicating with an unknown number," the Computer Crime Investigation Unit of the State of Tabasco, Mexico wrote.

"Several users said that if they sent a message to Momo on their cell phone, the response came with violent and aggressive images, and some say they had messages answered with threats.

"The risk of this challenge among young people and minors is that criminals can use it to steal personal information, incite suicide or violence, harass, extort and generate physical and psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and insomnia."

Experts are drawing connections between 'Momo' and another online phenomena that went viral in April last year, called the 'Blue Whale Challenge'.

The Blue Whale challenge was linked to hundreds of teenage suicides in Russia, with local media reporting the challenge encouraged participants to take part in a number of tasks, spread out over 50 days, that became increasingly more harmful. It's believed the final task encouraged the participant to commit suicide.

While Western publications have questioned the accuracy of the Russian reportage, both 'games' sound eerily similar in nature.

The image of 'Momo' is taken from a sculpture of a birdwoman by Japanese artist artist Midori Hayashi and has nothing to do with the challenge.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don't suffer alone. Call Lifeline for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 13 11 14.