Mother Left Devastated After Her 6-Year-Old Spends $16,000 on Mobile Video Game
Connecticut, USA: A mother was left in shock after her 6-year-old child used her credit card to spend a massive amount of money on his favorite mobile phone game over a period of 2 months.
Earlier in 2020, Jessica Johnson, 41, who works as a real estate agent in Wilton, Connecticut, found out that $16,293,10 was missing from her Chase account by PayPal and Apple. Thinking it was just some sort of glitch or fraud, she called the bank and filed a fraud claim. But it wasn’t until a few months later that her bank told her the charges were legitimate and that she needed to get in touch with Apple.
The mother of one realized that the cash had been spent by her 6-year-old boy, George, after Apple provided her with a list of charges.
And when she saw the icon of Sonic the Hedgehog, she knew it had to have been her son. Sadly, by that time it was already too late to reverse the damage.
Apple refused to refund her as she had not contacted them within two months of the charges.
“They said, ‘Tough’. They told me that, because I didn’t call within 60 days of the charges, that they can’t do anything,” Jessica told the New York Post. “The reason I didn’t call within 60 days is because Chase told me it was likely fraud — that PayPal and Apple.com are top fraud charges.”
— New York Post (@nypost) December 12, 2020
Unfortunately, neither the mother nor her husband had set up any restrictions on the account and George was able to use the linked credit card to purchase thousands of dollars worth of in-game content for his favorite mobile phone game, Sonic Forces.
“It’s like my 6-year-old was doing lines of cocaine — and doing bigger and bigger hits,” Jessica joked.
“Obviously, if I had known there was a setting for that, I wouldn’t have allowed my 6-year-old to run up nearly $20,000 in charges for virtual gold rings.”
However, Jessica blames Apple and the game company, saying that such applications are predatory and designed to get children to purchase things.
She is now calling on parents to make sure to set up restrictions on their devices, adding that such preventive measures are deactivated by default by Apple devices.
“What grown-up would spend $100 on a chest of virtual gold coins?”
“My son didn’t understand that the money was real. How could he? He’s playing a cartoon game in a world that he knows is not real. Why would the money be real to him? That would require a big cognitive leap.”
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