KOLKATA: With two suicides being blamed on it and several teenagers receiving invitations to play the dangerous online game, the ‘Momo Challenge’ has kept the police and the parents on tenterhooks in West Bengal.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has urged the people not to reply to the game requests, and inform the police. At the same time, CID sleuths have advised parents to keep a tab on the social media activities of children.
Cybercrime experts said clicking the game link or downloading the file activates a spyware through which the perpetrators take control over the phone, photos, audio recordings and MMSes to blackmail
On August 20, Manish Sarki, 18, of Kurseong was found hanging in a pigsty with words ‘Illuminati’, ‘hanged man’, ‘doped’ and name of a girl spray painted on the pigsty wall.
The next day, a 26-year-old woman was also found hanging in Kurseong.
“Both the deaths are being investigated. While we are not completely denying links of the suicides with ‘Momo Challenge’, we have not yet found any link between the suicides with the game,” CID DIG (operations) Nishat Pervez had said.
The police then received a complaint at Jalpaiguri in North Bengal from a woman that she had received an invitation to play the game after she expressed her desire of commit suicide on the social media following a spat with her mother.
The CID stated most of the ‘Momo Challenge’ numbers are difficult to trace. It warned that though some numbers may be the prank, game invitations from foreign numbers could be from hackers, or blackmailers. Not all parents are sure how to keep a tab on their children’s Internet activities on their
“Children are very secretive about their mobile phones and lock their phones, WhatsApp and Messenger. What we can do is speak with them frankly and make them understand the harm this game can do to them,” said a parent, whose son received the ‘Momo Challenge’ request.
Psychologists are advising parents to spend quality time with their children and to speak with them about their issues and problems.