The viral game, known as the Momo Challenge, has made its way to Montana. According to Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, a Lockwood 12-year-old received an invitation to play.
Momo encourages children to complete challenges. Sgt. Bob Lester with the sheriff's office explained that those challenges start off minor and increase to suicide or serious/violent crimes.
There are rules when taking part in the challenges. The child must video or take a picture of them doing the challenge and send it in. However, if they don't send evidence, they will likely receive threats.
"When you don't do that challenge, is when the bullying and intimidation starts," explained Sgt. Bob Lester.
According to the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, the Lockwood child who received a notification from Momo Monday night, immediately told his grandparents.
Sgt. Lester said, "They were threats to kill friends and it had specific names on it. And he was scared, and I told them to tell him thank you for calling because how many kids would've laid in bed that night and just stewed all night long. He told them, he must've had a good relationship to tell them and secondly, the fact that he told, may have prevented a lot of other kids from having some sleepless nights."
The sergeant explained that he has read up on the challenge and from what he has read, it can be accessed through Facebook and the WhatsApp. The WhatsApp is a free calling and messaging app.
Sgt. Lester speculates that videos and pictures of the challenges will eventually be sold. "As the challenges progress, whether they go into violent or sexual nature, they will eventually be sold or shared on the internet. That's the whole purpose of this, is to get the graphic video and photos."
This is the first time Sgt. Lester has heard about Momo and at the same time, he said some people claim this viral challenge is a hoax. But, he said he will continue to talk about it with the community and his own children.
"It teaches us to be nosey, we need to be in our kids' business. We are the parents. You need to be doing random audits on your kids' phone, looking in there and asking questions. Like I told my daughter, once it happens to you, I can't take it back, I can't go back and take that event from happening. So, I'm probably going to do things that you don't like to prevent it from ever happening and to teach you for what to look for."
Sgt. Lester told KULR-8 that it is very important for parents and their children to have a good relationship with one another. That is the reason he wrote "Tell your kids you love them" on the sheriff's office facebook post.