Recently a British 12-year-old boy stole his mother's credit card and charged $1,400 on the Facebook game, FarmVille. According to The Guardian, the pre-teen had dumped his personal funds into the game before seeking out and draining the plastic goods from Mom. The woman, who remained anonymous in the report, said she had no idea he used the card until she received her monthly statement.
"The first use of my card was on 14 March," she said. "I discovered it on the 29th and the card was stopped at that point. Any transactions after that date were already in the system, so what I thought was a £427 spend turned into £625 over the next few days. The total spend is about £905, but the credits are still rolling in."
The mother attempted to get her money back, however the game's publisher, Zynga, refused to reverse the charges, stating that the boy lived within her home. Instead, the company suggested that she use password protection on her computers in order to prevent further problems.
The actual credit card company--HSBC--said she would qualify for a refund only if she reported her son to the police and obtained the crime number.
Facebook disabled the boy's account.
The unnamed mother told The Guardian that she doesn't blame Facebook, Zynga, or the credit card company, but rather places the entire blame on her son. However, she also noted that all three needed to take partial responsibility in the matter by implementing some kind of security feature in the future. "The fact that he was using a card in a different name should bring up some sort of security and the online secure payment filter seems to be bypassed for Facebook payments," she said.
As for the pre-teen, he was shocked by the final amount charged to the card, but the mother said she could tell that he knew what he had done--there was no denying the deed. "When I asked him why he did it, he said that they had brought out 'good stuff that I wanted'," she said.