A 6-year-old spent $16,000 on video game with mom’s credit card. We’ve seen countless reports of kids gaining access to their parents’ credit cards and draining them dry as they attempt to purchase certain items in games like Fortnite, FIFA, and Call Of Duty: Warzone. It’s become such a regular occurrence.
According to a report coming from The New York Post, a six-year-old George Johnson from Connecticut was able to nab his mum’s credit card and sink more than $16,000 into the mobile game Sonic Forces: Speed Battle.
While working from home during the pandemic, Wilton., Conn., real estate broker Jessica Johnson, 41, didn’t realize the younger of her two sons had gone on a shopping spree on her iPad. Over the month of July, George bought add-on boosters — starting with $1.99 red rings and moving up to $99.99 gold rings — that allowed him to access new characters and more speed, spending hundreds of bucks at a time.
The six year old’s mother, Jessica Johnson, first noticed the charges on July 9th, which had by that point hit $2,500. Speaking to The New York Post, Johnson compared the microsotransactions to “lines of cocaine”.
At first Johnson didn’t realise that these extortionate charges were from a video game, because why on Earth would you think Sonic The Hedgehog just rinsed you for two-and-a-half grand? Her first thought was fraud, but the time she’d worked out the truth, her son had amassed $16,293.10 in charges.
Mrs Johnson’s credit card company, told her that she’d need to contact Apple to see about some kind of refund. Unfortunately, as is so often the case when kids spend a crap-ton of money on a video game without their parent’s permission or knowledge, the tech giant was exactly sympathetic to her case… even after she informed them the charges meant she would fall behind on her mortgage.
Apple explained that if Johnson had called within 60 days of the charges, something could have been done. However, she explained that her credit card company had informed her it was probably fraud and not legitimate transactions – which is why she didn’t take action sooner. The Apple customer service rep also informed her there were settings she could have enabled to prevent this from happening…
“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,” she explained.
Johnson also hit out at the “predatory” monetary systems in Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, and suggested the game takes advantage of the fact that young children don’t understand the money being spent is real.
She cautioned other parents to be mindful to their security settings, she added, I was “apalled” that Apple devices aren’t set to prevent things like this from happening by default.