twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Boy Spends $1,400 on FarmVille

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

A $1,400 credit card charge may reflect an average day of shopping for Kim Kardashian, but for one British mom, it was a surprising invasion of her finances.


The mom (who chose to remain anonymous) told the Daily Mail that her 12-year-old son stole her charge card and spent $1,400 playing FarmVille, a popular Facebook game.

In case you're unfamiliar, FarmVille is a virtual game where players compete against one another to build virtual farms. (The entertainment value is lost on us, too.)

The mom's financial woes could be solved if Zynga, the company that owns FarmVille, would just issue a refund. But they refuse, since the son lives in his mother's home, thereby disqualifying the incident from being theft.

Before you weigh in on whether or not this mom deserves to be reimbursed, here's some background info on the company Zynga.

The gaming company has a reputation for being devious. At one point, it earned a third of its revenue from faux "commercial offers" (such as cell-phone subscriptions masquerading as quizzes and "free" products that were anything but). And CEO Mark Pincus even admitted in an online video that he "did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues right away." But most awful? Zynga has even been accused of tricking users into thinking that they've donated money to Haiti while pocketing the donations themselves.

Keep in mind that the British mom does have another option: She can get refunded by her bank, HSBC, if she files a police report against her son -- which she refuses to do.

Although this mom harbors no bitterness toward Facebook, Zynga or HSBC and only blames her son for the ordeal, she does say, "I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again. 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."

What would you do if you were in this mom's shoes?

next: What Do Celeb Tots Play With?
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charlotte April 9, 2010, 6:21 AM

That kid would be paying me back. I don’t care when, but I would get that money back. And he would be paying for his own college. All this, of course, would be after one hell of a grounding. And believe me, the company would be hating me after a while. I would call them daily until they paid me back.

Vera  April 9, 2010, 6:33 AM

The child would not be allowed to be anywhere near a computer unless he was supervised. He would be working to pay this off. The Mother needs to start a grassroots campaign against the company until they paid her back the money.

Shannon April 9, 2010, 6:46 AM

wow! I would whoop my sons but if he did something like that. In the boys defense that game is damn addicting. I know I play several times a day, lol!

Tori April 9, 2010, 7:32 AM

Wow I play farmville and the only time I spent actual money was to donate to Haiti, what a scam, they won’t be seeing any of my money again!

maria April 9, 2010, 11:00 AM

I think it is all on the mom. Were was she that she wasn’t watching her son or her wallet. Zanga could be nice and reimburse her for some, but a majority is on the son. As for the Haiti scam, I make it a point to only use donation site such as Red Cross,. There are just too many scam artist out there to worry about.

Laughing April 9, 2010, 11:37 AM

Oh momma. You let your 12 year-old use the computer without supervision; you have failed to teach him limits (to know that taking someone else’s belongings - money, credit, objects - is THEFT, which is legally and morally WRONG) … and now you think it is somebody else’s FAULT ??? You want to blame someone else for this??? you want someone else to compensate you for YOUR lack of parenting skills ???

Read more:

Used Golf Clubs September 21, 2010, 12:43 AM

In similar thing, Tiger Woods is now a Cheetah.

fashion October 1, 2010, 4:48 AM

Hey there, great write-up, a colleague from the fashion business linked me to your web site. I’ve been born into the market with my parents functioning in the fashion trade. I’ve realized the market is fairly disjointed so I’m presently earning a living on a web site to convey everyone together. I am grateful to come across this post.

Back to top >>