ABC 15 Investigates: What is the Momo Challenge?
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
The Momo Challenge is all over the internet these days. It's similar to the Blue Whale Challenge that led to reports of suicides in Russia and the United States.
Some teens say Momo looks like a Creepy Pasta story character named Jeff the Killer.
Various Youtubers say if you come in contact with Momo, you're asked to follow orders and threatened if you don't.
Sandra Hosner says her grandson showed her Momo.
"I don't want him to kill himself over her, and that's what would happen. They are very impressionable at age 12. I just...that's my opinion, I don't like her. 'Momo, no, no!' That's what I told my grandson--'get that off of Grandma's phone. I don't want you near that thing, anywhere near it!'"
That's why parents like Lisa Cooper limit their kids on social media.
"They don't even get phones or social media access until they're teenagers, and then they're limited to what they can be on. I have to be able to follow them, I have all their passwords and everything else just to keep a close eye on them all the time," said Cooper.
Sean Mirzaev, 17, says he appreciates his mom for that reason.
"It's kind of annoying that she's invading my privacy, but I can know that she just wants the best for me and hopefully all other parents can follow my mom's footsteps, her guidelines for doing this," said Mirzaev.
Experts say, parents, if you see something, say something.
"That goes for their children, or if their children may have told them about some other children who may be danger. contact authorities," said Corporal Tom Vest, Myrtle Beach Police Department spokesman.
South Carolina has an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program. This is their website.
It's there to help parents learn exactly what their kids are doing online and includes everything from social media sites to anonymous sharing, texting and video messaging.
Vest says the first line of defense against unwanted internet activity is parents and guardians. He also recommends parents check out cybertipline.com to report anything that may be suspicious.
The picture of Momo is from the work of a Japanese artist named Midori Hayashi. The artist is not associated with the Momo challenge.