Momo challenge scares 5-year-old boy, prompts call to police

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- Warnings about the Momo challenge swept Facebook and other social media in recent days, as parents worried about the videos that encourage children to hurt themselves or do other harmful tasks such as turning on stoves without telling their parents.

"I just close my eyes and my eyes were thinking that the Momo challenge was right there," 5-year-old Giovanni Pedroza said.

The online hoax caused the 5-year-old to call police.

Momo Challenge isn't real: How parents can deal with internet hoaxes

When the dispatcher answered, she assured Giovanni that the character was not real, saying "if anybody asks you to do anything like that you always tell your mom and dad."

The 5-year-old and the dispatcher, Natalie, met for the first time after she invited him to the police department for a tour.

The police department gave him a flashlight and a teddy bear to protect him from his fears of Momo.