There's a terrifying new viral "suicide challenge" spreading on WhatsApp and other social media platforms and police around the world are issuing warnings to parents and teens.

This disturbing "game" encourages people to connect with the anonymous "Momo" account on social media networks such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. The account uses an avatar of a sculpted woman with grotesque features (seen above), the work of a Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game in any way.

As soon as communication with the suspect account begins, Momo reportedly responds with violent images and threatens the person if they don't follow orders, which often end in the "player" being asked to kill themselves and share images and video of the suicide.

The new Momo suicide challenge is similar to another sinister social-media based suicide game called the Blue Whale Challenge, which is linked to hundreds of teen deaths in Russia and perhaps even closer to home as one Wichita Falls, Texas mother blames the Blue Whale Challenge for the suicide of her 32-year-old daughter in July of 2017.

Police in Argentina are reportedly investigating the death of a 12-year-old girl who filmed herself prior to hanging herself from a tree in her backyard. Authorities believe the girl's death is linked to the new and dangerous Momo challenge and that she was encouraged to commit suicide. A number of other countries, including Mexico, Germany, France and the United States have reportedly voiced concerns about the viral challenge.

Momo suicide challenge
Momo challenge warning from Civil Guard in Spain

According to the website Paranormal Globe, there are three different numbers known to be linked with Momo:

+81345102539 (Japan)
+5226681734379 (Columbia)
+573135292569 (Mexico)

Parents are urged to remind their children how important it is to protect themselves while online and never communicate with or give personal information to strangers on the Internet.

If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately at 1-800-273-825 or text 741-741.

To learn more about the warning signs and risk factors of suicide, click here.

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