This kid could be on Santa's naughty list …
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3 min read
This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
Children are naturally malicious, playful, and curious. However, there are times when they can get more than one gray hair from their parents. Not just to paint the walls, play around the house, or break a new toy. Now the antics of the infants continue. Such was the case of George Johnson, a six-year-old boy who secretly spent more than $ 16,000 (about 300,000 pesos) in the Apple Store.
How did you amass so much money? Well, the little boy bought virtual accessories for his favorite game Sonic Forces, which shocked his mother, the New York Post reported.
The world of video games is a gigantic industry that offers a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Today's children are immersed in it and, like George, they are unaware of the cost it can bring.
Jessica Johnson, 41, a stockbroker, failed to notice while working at home that the youngest of her children had gone shopping using her iPad due to the pandemic. It all happened in July when George was buying accessories, everything from red rings for almost two dollars to gold rings for 100 dollars. This gave him access to new characters and increased speed, gradually building thousands of dollars in his mother's account.
There was one day, July 9th, that George brought 25 charges totaling $ 2,500. Jessica commented on the half-joke that "it was like my 6-year-old son was taking cocaine and getting bigger and bigger hits".
When Jessica noticed that Apple and PlayPal were withdrawing significant sums of money, she thought it was a mistake or some kind of fraud. Of course, he called the bank to make a claim on the fees, but says that in the way the money was raised it was next to impossible to say that they were due to gambling.
When the bill reached $ 16,000, the mother filed a fraud lawsuit with her bank. But it wasn't until October that he learned the truth. She went to Apple and saw the Sonic icon. She knew it was George.
When he complained to the company, he told him that there was nothing more he could do because more than 60 days had passed after the indictment. The family's situation is complicated as they have to pay a mortgage and even Apple didn't want to help them.
“These games are designed to be completely predatory and to trick children into buying things. Which adult would spend $ 100 on a chest of virtual gold coins? Says Jessica.
When the indebted mother spoke to George about the extent of what he had done, the boy tenderly offered to pay. However, Jessica is well aware that he will only be paid four dollars to clean his room. So he wanted to tell George that he "didn't know anything about Christmas".
Now the family is struggling to pay the bills. She was unpaid from March to September, works on commission, and her income has fallen 80 percent that year.