Twelve year old spends more than $1,400 on FarmVille

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Here’s an interesting story. A twelve year old kid from the UK has managed to spend £905 (or around AU$1489) in purchasing virtual coins on a little Facebook game called FarmVille, most of it, or £625, using his mother’s credit card after emptying his savings account. And his mother isn’t pleased with that.

Those not introduced to FarmVille, it is basically a game where you raise up virtual livestock and crops with virtual money – and you are given some coins to start off, and you can gain it by collecting ‘revenue’ from them.

Those impatient are known to create fake profiles and give them gifts and coins, but some also purchase extra coins using real cash to progress more quickly.

According to the Guardian, the mother – who is anonymous – contacted her credit card company after the application maker Zynga would not refund the money, but it would refund the money if she reported her son to the police and had a crime number – which she did. “He would be cautioned and I have been told that this caution would stay with him. Obviously the idea of a stupid farm simulation jeopardising his future earnings is not something that I want to consider,” she told the newspaper.

A HSBC spokeswoman said that it would have raised a couple of alarms because it saw “unusual usage”, but because it was buying Facebook credits, they thought it wasn’t suspicious.

Facebook has disabled his account, because it broke the terms of service, while Zynga has “unhelpfully suggested I use password protection on computers in the future”. But she doesn’t blame them – saying that it is her son’s fault for using her card.

Image from: gnackgnackgnack/Flickr (CC)