The Momo challenge is back in focus and TAS staff have been notified of this issue. More information is available at https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-the-office/newsroom/media-releases/statement-esafety-advice-on-the-momo-challenge
For students (and for parents: how to talk to them)
What can I do? Apply the 4Rs of cyber safety Reasoning, Resilience, Responsibility and Respect.
Reasoning: Question it?
- Momo means steamed vegetables in Tibetan or peach in Japanese… that is definitely not scary.
- Momo is not real. It is a sculpture made by a Japanese Artist in 2016 made for a different purpose. He has not provided anyone with authority to use his sculpture. So he has been scammed too.
- It’s a scam. Why would someone want you to contact an unknown number and enter details about yourself? Momo creators have been recently linked to hackers scamming people’s data and identity.
- It’s a computer program used to call people similar to ones used in other scams. Like any other computer programs, it will have a number of predetermined actions and responses whether it be using voice or text. It’s fake.
- Some people use skins in computer games to frighten others when playing (minecraft and roblox for example and post the videos to youtube). These are not Momo.
- You are safe: It’s makers are not in Australia. They actually can’t touch you and you are physically safe.
Resilience: You got this.
Soar with the BIRDS:
Block, Ignore, Report, Don’t feed the trolls and Share!
Actions you can take immediately:
- Block the sender, number or user. You didn’t ask for this.
- Ignore it – it’s not going to do anything simply disregard it.
- Report it to the service you are using or to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Remember those people who are pretending to be Momo in games are just trolls. Report people in game for using inappropriate skins.
- Don’t feed the trolls – don’t engage as they just want to hook you and harass you.
- Share it! You are not alone and we all make mistakes. Talk to you parents, a teacher or your schools cyber safety champion.
Responsibility: You look after yourself online.
- It’s a good time to recheck that you know how to block and report in all the apps you use from phone numbers to apps.
- Run a virus check and make sure you have updated your devices to prevent a hacking of your device. Talk to your parents if you are unsure how to do this.
- Also make sure you identify the trustworthy and responsible adults you can talk to.
- Contacting strangers online is not ok.
Respect: I respect others online.
- Be polite online and always use good manners.
- Respect others – don’t forward any images or use them for anything.
What can parents do? Educate and engage your child.
- Momo is a form of cyberbullying.
- Understand that, for your child, “online life” is a part of real life in this digital age.
- Listen and don’t panic or become angry.
- Ask if they have seen anything or heard anything recently that was upsetting online or heard about anything at the school. The situation will dictate whether or not Momo is known to them.
- Parent’s should establish if they have WhatsApp installed on one of your child’s devices. If so, engage both younger and older teens about who they speak to.
- Run through the 4 Rs of cyber safety (outlined above) if needed. You don’t want to adversely affect your child.
- You can further support your child by ensuring they have access to qualified and certified counsellors online 24/7 such as kids helpline. Consider book marking these and adding to the home screen of your child’s device (outlined below).
- The office of the eSafety Commissioner can assist with cyber abuse and you can report directly here for children under 18
and for all others over 18 here
- Contact the school Cyber Safety Champion, teacher or counsellor if you need further assistance.
Here is a list of current resources and support services:
- Office eSafety Commissioner: https://www.esafety.gov.au/wellbeing-directory
- Wellbeing Directory: https://www.esafety.gov.au/wellbeing-directory
- Cyberbullying – Students:
- Cyberbullying – Parents Guide
- Image Based Abuse
- Kids helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/
- Online help is available for ages 5-12, 13 to 17, 18-25
- Online Chat
- Call 1800 55 1800
- Bullying No Way: https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/
- Beyondblue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
- eHeadspace: https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/
- Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/
- Reachout: https://au.reachout.com/
- Queensland Police Service: https://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/cscp/personalsafety/children/
- Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network https://www.acorn.gov.au/