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April 8, 2010

Report: British boy racks up $1,400 tab on Farmville

Posted: 10:48 AM ET

Fake crops on Farmville - the "free" social game that's become a huge hit on Facebook - cost a British mother some real cash after her 12-year-old son racked up $1,400 in charges on the game.

The Guardian reports that the pre-teen needed only about two weeks to empty his own savings account then start using his mom's credit card.

"When I asked him why he did it he said that they had brought out 'good stuff that I wanted,' " the mother, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper.

Farmville, which last month reported having more than 75 million monthly players, is free to play. But players can spend money on extras, like virtual crops, tools and barns.

Zynga, the company behind Farmville, Mafia Wars and other popular social games, says the games are designed to appeal to a wide cross-section of players, not just the typical young, male video game crowd.

The mother said the son's bills came to 905 British pounds - the equivalent of $1,373.

The British mother, whose hometown was not listed in the story, said she doesn't blame Zynga, Facebook or her credit card company, although she tried to get the money back.

But she said she wished there was extra security to prevent such spending.

"I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again," she told The Guardian. "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 her son was unable to make mobile phone payments - because his older brother had lost credit buying a ringtone a couple of years earlier.

"We sound terribly technologically unaware don't we?" she said.

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Filed under: Facebook • Gaming • video games


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Franko   April 8th, 2010 11:20 am ET

"she wished there was extra security"
Palm print, retinal scan, voice recognition etc.


l3admonky   April 8th, 2010 11:21 am ET

You could also just teach your kid the value of money and that spending it frivolously, especially when it doesn't net you anything tangible in return, is not something that should be done.


Pre-teen Goes Crazy In Farmville, Spends $1,400! | Techi.com   April 8th, 2010 11:23 am ET

[...] reported by Reuters SHARE THIS POST digg_url = [...]


Andrew   April 8th, 2010 11:41 am ET

Why is the mother mad? She should've paid more attention to her son's online activity, and protected the credit card better...


Sarah   April 8th, 2010 12:04 pm ET

Sounds like she needs to do some better parenting and teach her kids that stealing is wrong.


Be Money Careful   April 8th, 2010 12:05 pm ET

I agree with you... Mother needs to keep her credit card information away from her children.


Josh   April 8th, 2010 12:17 pm ET

AH-HA! Thats what the mother gets. How dare she say there needs to be more "security" in place? For what?! To make up for her not being a tentative parent?!


Erin   April 8th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

@Josh I think the word you meant to use was "attentive." "Tentative" means hesitant.


Alex   April 8th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

man who has the free time to play this stuff?


Jason   April 8th, 2010 1:23 pm ET

@Alex That's the beauty of these types of games. You can play them 5 minutes at a time and still make visual progress.


veronica   April 8th, 2010 1:27 pm ET

Looks like the mother needs to be a better parent. Who in the world would hand over their credit card to a 12 year old son?!? Bad bad move on mothers part. She brought this $1400.00 bill upon herself.


Dan   April 8th, 2010 1:36 pm ET

Real security? Like being a good parent? There are readily available tools to help prevent this stuff from happening. If the parent is too stupid or lazy to use them, that is their problem.


4N2NR   April 8th, 2010 1:40 pm ET

Kids...very young ones too...know how to peep at a credit card, write the numbers down for the account, expiration date and security code and then go online and use them. So...unless you secure your belongings inside your private residence like it was open to public access you are open to your family members helping themselves. I am not sure better parental supervision would have prevented this. You gotta sleep sometime. Maybe instilling better values could have...it's hard to say. Shame a 'free' costs to get upgrades.


Rick McDaniel   April 8th, 2010 1:43 pm ET

There is security.....but it requires PARENTING! No 12 yr. old should be on a computer, that is not in a public area, at any time.


Ken   April 8th, 2010 1:44 pm ET

I don't think any 12 year old should have a cell phone / credit history / online/digital buying power whatsoever. All that stuff should come about between 16 – 18. Parents delude themselves into thinking a cell phone gives safety and control when in fact it puts the kids in greater danger by allowing greater unsupervised exposure to the world.


Dwayne   April 8th, 2010 1:44 pm ET

Bad mother? Better parenting? More attention?

Okay, you guys either don't have your own children, have never met one or simply have your own mother issues. A 12 year old is going to do what a 12 year old wants. I remember being a pre-teen and engaging in all sorts of behaviors that would have shed my parents in a poor light. Even though I had been told over and over not to do those things and the value of making the right decisions. Don't be so hasty to judge a mother who has headstrong, technoligcally savvy children who know how to access their savings and her credit card. It can happen to any of you.


Sarah   April 8th, 2010 1:51 pm ET

ok, I play farmville, but it's not worth spending my savings plus racking up a credit card over... But, I'm not 12 and I refuse to spend my hard working money on something unrealistic. If my daughter or son did something like this, they would be working it off somehow to pay me back, plus interest.


Jenny   April 8th, 2010 1:54 pm ET

I agree with Dwayne – Kids are getting more savy with technology than parents are. Do people actually think she just left her carding laying around? Kids sneak into parents purses/wallets and take change all the time. Please give this mom a break. This could happen to any of you!


jokercllsn6   April 8th, 2010 2:06 pm ET

Lol... put a password on your computer next time.. thats a thing called "security" or even have the credit card company call you to inform you that your card is being used... wow.. look at that, I just figured out 2 ways to have more "security"... man... technology rocks!


q   April 8th, 2010 2:06 pm ET

remember 1-900 numbers and the trouble that caused? Same thing. Kids will always find ways to dig into their mother's purses...


Ari   April 8th, 2010 2:16 pm ET

It appears the mom is not blaming anyone but herself and son for her problems. She is only asking the Zynga confirm the identify of the card holder. Seems like Zynga could protect itself by having a check box in the pay window "I have rightful authority to charge to this card." The kids will lie but Zynga would be off of the hook.


knghtshingrmour   April 8th, 2010 2:20 pm ET

The posted age regulation for facebook is 13 years old. Facebook should pay her bill for violating the age restriction.


Jason   April 8th, 2010 2:27 pm ET

This mom needs to get a clue. She has a theif for a son. Farmville didn't steal her credit card, her son did. Her son knew exactly what he was doing when he entered in that credit card information, whether he actually had the card with him or if he had written the information down when mom wasn't looking. If he wanted to buy stuff bad enough, he would have found his way around any security short of showing up in person. Discipline your kid instead of making excuses.


Jason   April 8th, 2010 2:30 pm ET

knghtshingrmour- You cannot be serious. Like the kid couldn't have lied about his age to get an account. Put the blame where it belongs, on the kid.


bobby   April 8th, 2010 3:07 pm ET

haha! wow


ProPokerSchoolDotCom   April 8th, 2010 3:07 pm ET

I think we are all missing the point here. This kid must have had the coolest farm in the World! Can we get some screen shots of the kid's farm as opposed to the stock photo you have of Farmville?


Mark   April 8th, 2010 3:10 pm ET

Considering that it is all 'virtual' and no real cost to Zynga they should do the honorable thing and give the woman a refund... then knock his farm down to a 3 crops and a cow.


beakt   April 8th, 2010 3:10 pm ET

@ProPokerSchoolDotCom LOL!


John Jones, III   April 8th, 2010 3:16 pm ET

There is already a security measure that should've been utilized....it's called PARENTING! People like this should not have children...pay attention to what your kids are doing, and take responsibility for them, don't just throw it on to someone else.


zzmook   April 8th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Five words that will teach him all about money: Make him pay it back.


rad   April 8th, 2010 3:32 pm ET

ahh......The old it's not my job to watch my child and what they are doing. It is everybody elses fault....and everybody else needs to watch my child and prevent him from doing stupid things defense..........Hope they don't back down and they make her pay the bill.............


Pflash   April 8th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

Yep, "parenting" here is a good place to start. Did noone see that the other son goofed up with a ringtone? Musta been some ringtone service to kill his credit rating, so bad it goofed up the other son.... sounds like responibility runs shallow around this house.


Jill   April 8th, 2010 4:41 pm ET

Veronica, the story doesn't say anything about the mother handing over her credit card to the kid, and I would sincerely doubt she did.

And if online purchases didn't go thru any time the name on the account didn't match the name on the card, half of online purchases would never get made. The credit card companies aren't looking out for consumers, no matter what they say.


Jill   April 8th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

knghtshingrmour,

I agree with Jason. Plenty of kids have set up facebook accounts by lying about their age. I have a 10 year old cousin whose profile says she is 17 and my 7 year old niece has a profile that says she's 13. I know my niece's mother helped her set up her profile. So what do you expect facebook to do to stop kids under 13 from setting up a profile? Require a copy of their birth certificate?


mike   April 8th, 2010 6:37 pm ET

dwayne-jenny i totally agree with you...i guess were the only ones that dont have "angel's" as kids...pretty impressive all these other people can "know 24/7" whereabouts of their little angels....


Ed   April 8th, 2010 8:15 pm ET

She wishes there was extra security???? How about keeping her credit cards secured, and how about getting her lazy-a$$ son off his butt and out into fresh air. Oh, and how about some discipline in that family to make that kid not even CONSIDER doing such a thing? She DESERVED the bill – it's an expensive lesson, but maybe she will unplug the PC now. JEEEZZ...too easy!!


Ed   April 8th, 2010 8:18 pm ET

To Mike –

Of course none of us have "angels" as kids...but when the parent's OTHER son had problems and THIS son is on the PC all the time, that is ONE lax mother. Weak parenting at best.


ken   April 8th, 2010 8:26 pm ET

I say kids need a phone, basic only, no texting, no camera, etc... and limit it to family and emergecy numbers. take it with you just in case.
I bought mine a prepaid phone, and explained if they run out of minutes, thats it for the month. except for the emergency numbers are allowed at all times. they learned real quick that time and money are burned/ used up really fast. and use it sparingly.


TEX   April 8th, 2010 10:05 pm ET

better start mowing some lawns.


Sandra   April 8th, 2010 11:57 pm ET

I wanna see this kid's farm!!!


Rncen   April 9th, 2010 12:34 am ET

Hmmm.... security? Open Browser, Select "tools" or "options and block the site. Done and done. Now... take child out and teach them what a dollar is worth, teach them to be responsible for their actions and spend time with them instead of letting them zone on the computer. That would be a fairly good "security arraingement".


ssgt bourland   April 9th, 2010 3:48 am ET

Try using finger prints or a rectum scanner :)


Bruno   April 9th, 2010 7:10 am ET

I have seen all kinds of kids and some are pretty much not easy to control and will do what they want recklessly. In some cases the parents are excellent persons and dedicated parents.

I mean for a 12 year old a lot can go through his mind just for example to impress some girl he likes... generally anybody who does not work does not give the same value to money as people who do work. This is valid for any age actually... but for a 12 year old I find it hard for him to be really aware of what he is doing. I mean if you ask a 12 year old if he would buy a $1000 mobile that is awesome he would just say yes he doesn't understand the logic between price-quality. (buying quality at an acceptable price) Since it does not cost him anything, his sense of value and acceptable price is very distorted.

I have a cousin over 18 who is a bit like this 12 year old so it all depends on the personality of the kid, even with the best parenting they can just end up doing bad things. That is life! :-)

The mom can just take extra steps but never completely guarantee something like this won't happen again unless she locks the kid in a room for the rest of his life, without internet.


Drew   April 9th, 2010 8:56 am ET

Wow, just wow. Kid gets online and spends all his money on farmville and then steals his moms money for the same. Now usually in this situation a parent would discipline the child. Nope! Let's yell at facebook or the credit card company or somebody else and say there isn't enough security because when my son used my card, it worked! Stupid mom!


bret   April 9th, 2010 9:12 am ET

You guys need to read the article again. She wasn't blaming Facebook or Zynga. She was simply saying that if someones acoount name is "bret" ,for example, they shouldn't be able to use a credit card with someone elses name on it. I mean I'm 15 years old and I can very easily take my parents credit card and use it. That doesn't make my parents bad parents. And "You should know what your kid is doing" makes no sense to me. Think back to when you were 12. Your mom/dad did NOT know what you were doing at all times. Nuff said.


jesus   April 9th, 2010 9:31 am ET

what a no life little kid


DH   April 9th, 2010 10:13 am ET

Like a parent!


JT   April 9th, 2010 10:27 am ET

what a bunch of idiots in that family. retarded, the lot of them. no-life losers.


Mikayla   April 9th, 2010 10:33 am ET

Truley I agree with the fact that the mother does need to watch out and check up on her child. My mother always knows what I am doing. She should really put her credit card somewhere else rather in her son's hands.


Pete   April 9th, 2010 11:05 am ET

Mother is obviuosly a bad parent and needs to focus on her parenting skills instead of having the Internet babysit her kid...


Callum   April 9th, 2010 11:38 am ET

All you people who are yelling at the mom are not understanding the article. She says she /DOESN'T/ blame the companies, but wishes that they had basic security to block fraudulent purchases. She is /NOT/ putting blame on them. She states this very obviously: "The British mother, whose hometown was not listed in the story, said she doesn't blame Zynga, Facebook or her credit card company, although she tried to get the money back.".

Y'all need to think before you yell. :)


TheFace   April 9th, 2010 11:41 am ET

"Extra Security"??? Lady, if your son had access to your credit card, then that's all he needs for ANYthing. He can buy things from Amazon, and nearly any other online vendor; none of those sites have a layer of security. He screwed up, and you probably did too since it obviously didn't occur to your son that this was a bad idea.


eddie   April 9th, 2010 12:01 pm ET

The mom is somewhat to blame, she probably entered her card #s when the "free" game insisted on them to continue joining. However, I mostly blame the company running these "free" games because they know exactly what will happen, a certain percentage of the time, and it is part of their plan..

We have all seen "free" things on the internet, that insist on a credit card to particpiate, just in case....

The people running these "free" enterprises know exactly what will happen, and I am sure they have plenty of history like:
1) account opened, little activity
2) activity starts, giant bill sent
3) account closed

They know exactly what is happening and it is part of their plan.


Brent   April 9th, 2010 12:02 pm ET

I agree with most of the people, there is security out there also I don't remember having access to credit card numbers and bank account numbers when I was 12.


Cindy J   April 9th, 2010 12:40 pm ET

People are forgetting that in order to get on online someone has to be over 18 years of age to enter into a contact with the Internet Service Provider. If that person then lets someone under age to access the Internet they are responible for what ever the minor does while online. Read the fine print of the agreement with your ISP. It is the mother's fault for letting the son online and not watching what he was doing. Notice she never mentions in the article how he got her credit card?


John   April 9th, 2010 1:15 pm ET

Take the damn computer away if you can't contol your kid.


Matt   April 9th, 2010 1:31 pm ET

It is called parenting...I'm tired of the children being blamed for not having supervision and responsibilities established in their lives.

No that makes sense to me; TV's, Computers, Phones, ETC are not babysitters...


Sierra   April 9th, 2010 1:43 pm ET

I think she's handling it pretty well, actually. She didn't flip out at Zynga, Facebook, or her credit card compay, like I'm sure many other people would have in her position. And her call for more security in online transactions through Facebook is nothing if not totally sensible. Who *wouldn't* be hesitant to make purchases online if the purchases were not adequately secure?


Tim   April 9th, 2010 1:47 pm ET

ANyone and I mean Anyone who pulls out their credit card for a stupid game outta grab the nearest pillowcase fill it with door knobs and wack themselves over thier head until it nolonger sounds like a good idea.


Chas   April 9th, 2010 2:12 pm ET

@ssgt bourland
"Try using finger prints or a rectum scanner"

Rectum scanner? that would be very unpleasant.


BK   April 9th, 2010 2:21 pm ET

Um... why would you ever let your child have your card information? That's what kids do; make bad decisions. There is no way that the makers of this game can tell if you gave them the card or not.


mateo   April 9th, 2010 3:10 pm ET

First off: Bad Parenting
Second: There is no way I would let my twelve year old have an account on facebook


Minna   April 9th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

OK well im a twelve year old myself and if i can say this then anyone can 1st of all HORRIBLE PARENTING 2nd of all, why the hell would you let your child use YOUR credit card?!?!?!?! yea im saying that and IM TWELVE! this is insane!


Sency   April 9th, 2010 3:27 pm ET

a young person shouldn't be able to get in this much debt so early in his life

http://www.sency.com/farmville.htm


Joe   April 9th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

Why don't you monitor what your kids are doing?


Talbot Jackalmontague   April 9th, 2010 3:58 pm ET

Some people need to read, instead of skimming over articles. Some of these responses border on the idiotic and ignorant!!
.
In reference to those who say the woman is a bad parent, think about all of the sly, slick, underhanded things (myself included) you did when you were growing up (unless of course you're a cherub from heaven, or from the cabbage patch), that had nothing to do with a lack of "parenting". Once you get to a certain age to where you know right from wrong, you have full knowledge of what you're doing. Many of us have done things that have gone against the grain of what we're taught, and have blantantly disregarded things our parents set before us.

Personally, I'd have him working all summer, cutting grass, earning that money back. He needs to learn the consequences of his actions.


tom   April 9th, 2010 5:06 pm ET

i have a kid on the way and there is no way he is getting his own internet connection, eating up all my bandwith with facebook 24/7, im not even going to tell him what facebook is, its so stupid, make your kid go outside and play with real friends.


Bill   April 9th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

boo hoo another irresponsible person who can't keep track of their credit cards. Ignorant people like this deserve the problems they're going through. "Oh there should be more security measures" – NO – deal with your mistake instead of trying to make restrictions that inconvenience the rest of the people in the world who actually have common sense.


Nikademus   April 9th, 2010 6:15 pm ET

The mother has a point, there should have been security in place to catch the fact that the name on the card did NOT match the name on the account. This is in place on almost every other online purchasing site. I would have filed with the CC company that they are not valid auth charges and that she should be reimbursed. She should also beat the crap out of her kid and not let them on the internet for atleast a month, more like a year.


14kid777   April 9th, 2010 6:17 pm ET

I agree with whoever says that children these days use the internet way to much,and for the wrong things.I know my 11year old niece is in touch with a 16year old and her mother wont do anything!


14kid777   April 9th, 2010 6:20 pm ET

You better watch your kids becuase next thing you know everyone will have thier weddings online.


Loren   April 9th, 2010 6:22 pm ET

I bet all those commenters saying the mother needs to teach her kid the value of money and supervise her kid better don't have children. You're not a good parent if you don't allow your kid to do things that their peers do, within limits, and you can't keep your kids from doing stupid things sometimes, it's called education. Granted, it cost her some money, but having recently been the victim of a credit card theft, the thief charged a plane ticket to my card and used his name as passenger, you have to wonder about companies who accept the cards without checking to make sure the names match. You can't blame the mother for the game provider's avarice.


14kid777   April 9th, 2010 6:27 pm ET

Before I leave,Farmville sounds like a stupid game and i would make my child do something use can useful that can teach them


14kid777   April 9th, 2010 6:29 pm ET

I blame the kid


OUtland   April 9th, 2010 8:07 pm ET

More security? How about supervising what YOUR child does. Why should anyone else supervise your child while in your care?


Timothy James   April 9th, 2010 8:59 pm ET

The mother has more worries than Facebook or Farmville. She's got a 12 year old that steals credit cards from her! What about your checks and balances in your own household?


Andres Garcia   April 10th, 2010 1:04 am ET

She could just pay attention to her kid


Derek   April 10th, 2010 1:53 am ET

She wants extra security to prevent this from happening? She already has it – it's called parental supervision. If she chose not to exercise it, well, that's her own fault and no one elses. Period.


Ana   April 10th, 2010 3:42 am ET

Perhaps she should better supervise her child and lock up her credit cards even at home. The kid knew what he was doing and the mom just ignored the massive amount of time she let the computer act as the kids sitter. Send her to parenting classes. And lady, just shut up and pay the bill. Congrats, your stupidity was shared around the world because you ignorantly complained about it.


Kratos   April 10th, 2010 4:33 am ET

I didn't know you could actually lose at a facebook game until this story.


The Two Techies Ep. 14 Shownotes « Show Notes   April 10th, 2010 6:31 am ET

[...] *Report: British boy racks up $1,400 (£905) tab on Farmville (link) [...]


Ronda   April 10th, 2010 10:25 am ET

Oh my goodness I can't believe how quickly people turn on the mother..you don't know what her life is like....maybe she is a single mom working two jobs to keep a roof over her kids head or food in their bellies....life is difficult and kids today know way way way to much...since we are pointing fingers why not point to society these kids learn from the adults around them (not just their parents) we behave that way ourselves..we want something and it doesn't matter if we can afford it we want it so we will use credit to get it and worry about paying it back later...we should all look at ourselves ...


Ashar   April 10th, 2010 12:21 pm ET

I wont blame anyone! He is a kid, he cant differentiate that well!
But I am surprised at how easily the amount was deducted from the credit card! I am from Pakistan and as backward and war torn as we are portrayed there are very strict security measures in place for credit/debit card uses online! One cant JUST use a card here for online payment! We have to first tell the bank that we have to make an online purchase, all credentials are verified then the card is authorized for online purchase.
And after every purchase SMS is sent to the owner! Any of that in place there and the bill wouldnt have gone that high!
doesnt take that much to implement atleast an SMS confirmation system now, does it!


shmo   April 10th, 2010 1:13 pm ET

The extra security to prevent this from happening is called a condom.


Skodma   April 10th, 2010 1:22 pm ET

I say make him pay the money back. Make him do chores valued at a certain rate until he pays it back.


p   April 10th, 2010 5:01 pm ET

Did any of the people claimining the woman is "blaming Facebook" actually read the article. It bluntly states that the woman was not blaming Facebook. I see no part where she goes on a tirade blaming Facebook for her problem. This seems more of a "Whoa, can you believe this..." article than "One woman's plot against Facebook" article. I don't blame her for trying to get her money back either. $1400 for not one single item of reality has got to be harsh. It doesn't hurt to see if they would be willing to reimburse her. Just because the article doesn't come out and say, "The woman, immediately after realizing the child racked up the enormous bill, beat the living stupidity after her child and taught him a lesson on money.", doesn't mean she didn't do so. Stop pointing the fingers at her parenting. It's not like she let her child go on a murdering spree. I remember doing sneaky crap (though not the level of magnitude this kid did) like this too when I was a kid. As a few others mentioned: when a 12 year-old wants something, they'll get it using recon and strategy if need be. Regardless, aren't you supposed to trust your family enough to leave your purse or wallet out? With the responses I see, I would expect the youth of America to be outstanding citizens with not a worry on their conscience. Clearly not one of you has ever had a tough parenting experience. You must be the ones blind to the fact your child is capable of such things.

To top it off, these "games" don't help matters much either. If you aren't tech savy, you would have no clue that there ways to protect your credit info on Facebook. She's naive, but that doesn't necessarily make her a bad parent. Hopefully she learned to keep an eye on her credit card, son's activity online, and what precautions to take on Facebook so this doesn't happen again.


JD   April 10th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

If we all spent less time on farmville perhaps we whould solve mos tof the worlds problems .. instead of making one guy rich


Cath   April 10th, 2010 10:40 pm ET

How about this...a user of Facebook is supposed to be 14 years old so maybe mom could have nipped this in the bud by telling little sonny boy that he had to wait until he would not have to lie in order to open a FB account...


Bobby   April 10th, 2010 11:04 pm ET

I taught my kids all decisions come with consequences. We can't be there 24/7 so be prepared if you get caught to pay the consequences and the mom should make the kid do the time. I'd sell the computer to pay the bill and he would have to work off the rest and there would be no cell phone until both were responsible enough to have one. Hit them where it hurts (metaphorically). :-)


Grover W. Denver CO   April 11th, 2010 5:37 am ET

My Son is spending the summer working off his bad choices. The internet is gone, his computer will be sold, and his hand held Nintendo that accesses the web will be locked up until it is obsolete. Good parents actually PARENT the children and take responsibility when their children screw up. At the end of the summer, his muscles will have improved even if his resolve to be a better kid has not.


Mary   April 11th, 2010 8:21 am ET

hope he doesn't rack up a huge bill on treasure isle as well! i know there are lots of obsessed players out there like http://www.treasureisleinfo.com/


Jassy   April 11th, 2010 10:16 am ET

So because she's a lousy mother and can't control her kid, it's always someone else's fault, in this case the company Zynga. So typical of today's people.


Anderson   April 11th, 2010 11:15 am ET

Extra security? Don't give your credit card information to your 12-year-old, or better yet unplug the computer and make your kid go outside. Cut, wrap, print.


A thought   April 11th, 2010 11:22 am ET

There was guy who got charged $24,000 to watch a football game on his smart phone while in the port of Miami about a year ago. Not knowing about the $20 access fee, I got stung for a $28 one minute telephone call. Fool me once...

It seems like a lot of blame is being put on the parent for not watching the child. Parents need to be aware of what their kids are up to but we also be aware that companies will be more than happy to take our money.


Matthew Whitlock   April 11th, 2010 4:08 pm ET

Your son is twelve years old. How does he get a hold of your credit card in the first place?


BRAD   April 11th, 2010 10:08 pm ET

Extra security? – Seems the mother has never heard of the concept of responsibility.

Take her comment:

"She said her son was unable to make mobile phone payments – because his older brother had lost credit buying a ringtone a couple of years earlier."

She seems to have experience in the area of not being able to control her children and how they misuse mom's finances.


Dex   April 11th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

That's what is wrong with parents nowadays. Yall scared to hit kids when they DESERVE to be disciplined. Yall scared to upset them because they won't be your friend. EFF that! That 12 year old needs a kick in the mouth and backhands that will make your mama scared. He didn't think of the discipline if he got in trouble because he KNEW he wouldn't be disciplined. Parents need to stop being pu**ies and start raising your kids in a way they won't shame you.


mobytheminnow   April 11th, 2010 10:52 pm ET

I play Farmville, I have played for 2 months. The secret of the game is to be patient. It is not an overnight game. The reasoning behind it is to get you to look at all the ads on the game. One way or another the game pays for itself.

I would have put a reversal of charges on the card. And that kid would be mowing lawns every weekend chained to a push mower until he looked like Arnold in Conan. Cause obviously he is not all that bright but I also remember as kids all of us used to stick quarter after quarter into Space Invaders, Pac-Man and so forth.

The way to win the game is not to spend every waking moment in front of it, and to not be too overly serious with the time you spend on it.
The best way to win at a video game is to not play it at all and do something with your MIND besides feed it electronic Pez.


mobytheminnow   April 11th, 2010 11:01 pm ET

What I even find more offensive is while playing the stupid game, they give you adds for more GAMES or Entertainment Auctions which is even a bigger scam then this mess he got into.

Entertainment Auctions are bs you pay 60 cents for a dollar lets say. Some of the Adds say oh this one person paid 26 dollars for an IPad. You also pay some kind of bid fee everytime you bid so that adds up quick but OH its not mentioned in the purchase price, and bidding does not stop until everyone gives up pressing the stupid bid button.

What is even a bigger scam is they sell blocks of bidding fees so your using bidding fees while even bidding on bidding fees and you might as well take your money and pour it in the toilet. People thought EBay was bad pfft they are angels compared to these scammers.


Bad Parenting blamed for Farmville bill « Kevin's Blog   April 12th, 2010 5:37 am ET

[...] card, facebook, farmville, mobile phones, parenting, runescape, world of warcraft) Got  a link to this story this morning.  An interesting read.  Some kid managed to rack up £900 worth of credit card bill playing [...]


Chase   April 12th, 2010 7:58 am ET

Here is a thought, why does your 12 year old son have all of your credit card info?


k3rm1t   April 12th, 2010 10:45 am ET

Mom needs to beat this kids @$$! Stealing credit cards? There needs to be some serious punishment dealt to this child for doing what he knew was wrong. Kill his farmville account and ground him from his computer for a couple of months at least!!


Mark   April 12th, 2010 10:52 am ET

Dwayne has a point but so does the mother. The credit card company authorised a transaction against her card from someone obviously other than the card-holder, however, Facebook permitted the transaction to proceed against it's own terms and conditions, and effectively allowed the minor to masquerade as the rightful card-holder. The Bank should legally require the retailer to refund the stolen money. Just because the theft was by someone known to the card-holder, does not imply that the retailer can profit from the theft. Provided that all goods purchased are returned in their original condition, the retailer is not out of pocket. :) Farmville should make a good faith gesture and refun the cash in full, otherwise it runs the risk of showing it's hand too openly.

These games are designed to be cute and suck you in. Check them out. They are aimed at children and the child in each of us.


Ken Denny   April 12th, 2010 11:05 am ET

How's this for extra security. Don't give your kid your credit card.


grl   April 12th, 2010 11:30 am ET

I have seen this game and I have no interest and no time to play this. I can not believe adults would spend their own money in these kind of games. As for kids, they are kids and not much can be said. I would have a problem if he spends all his savings on this type of game, not to mention stealing money. I would not allow my son to have such an easy access to his savings. I will give him a credit card (or pre-pay card) with little limit as his allowance to spend. You can keep track on how much he is spending that way. If he wants more, he can do house work to earn more allowances.


Interesting! « SparkleShock   April 12th, 2010 11:51 am ET

[...] April 12, 2010 tags: Bizarre!, News by shereephoenix Farmville + $1,400 = One Angry Parent...(and one dumb [...]


ar   April 12th, 2010 11:54 am ET

First of all, I don't think a 12 yr old can have a FB account. This kid must have lied about his age.


BrickellPrincess   April 12th, 2010 11:54 am ET

Instead of playing FarmVille and wasting my time with pointless clicking, I went to Home Depot and bought three raised garden beds and planted a butterfly garden, a sun flower bed, and a small vegetable garden.

I spent the entire weekend doing it and I feel awesome knowing that I am actually doing something productive and tangible. Quite rewarding!


Josh   April 12th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

I'm unfamiliar with the game. Is there any entrepreneurial potential that can be exploited from that investment?

In other online games, you can lay out capital for raw materials and then sell the products to other players for either real money or in-game currency that can be sold for real money.

((No, I never played Everquest or World of Warcraft. Why do you ask? ::cough::))

Just wondering if there's any possible way to teach that kid a lesson using in-game mechanics.


Kathryn Daniel   April 12th, 2010 12:55 pm ET

My first reaction to this is to want to slap this woman into next week for being a moron. Then I took a breath, and started over. This is called impulse control, and I'd love to share this concept with the rest of the planet!
Yes, there is extra security available. It's called being a responsible parent. First, teach your children to be responsible with money, as well as the difference between the real world and fantasy, and a little concept called CONSEQUENCES. Next, monitor what your child is doing on the internet. This kid had to have lied about his age to get a Facebook account. The age limit is 13.
I think the kid needs to get a life and Mom needs some parenting lessons.


andy   April 12th, 2010 1:38 pm ET

extra security = real PARENTING. Heard of it?


George   April 12th, 2010 2:27 pm ET

Business Law 101 states that a contract with a minor can be revoked at the discretion of the minor (at least US business law). Just a thought here... Nothing a good lawyer probably can't clean up right quickly.


Niss   April 12th, 2010 2:35 pm ET

For all those that are blaming FB and Zynga, it's not their fault. Kids know better and he was wrong. Had it been me, he would have to do work around the house, no computer games for three months, he would have to do 200 hours of community service, and get earn extra money by doing yard work to pay mother dear back.
As for the mother, I would be putting my purse in a safe each night I come home. And why in the hell does he have access to his savings? That is just dumb.

Farmville is meant for fun. It's not there to suck you in. The same goes for Xbox 360. Can't wait for someone to say the online games "sucks you in" to paying for the live account.


Dave   April 12th, 2010 2:46 pm ET

75 million people playng farmville?
The sad part is a lot of them are adults.
Incredible.


bloger   April 12th, 2010 4:01 pm ET

wang


Charles Centers   April 12th, 2010 5:22 pm ET

It is called lock up your credit cards and know what your kids are doing online. I am so sick and tired of parents who don't want to be parents trying to blame everything on someone else. Get off your lazy a** and watch your kids like you are suppose to do. That is like parents that think the school should be responsible for their kids behavior. News Flash! Hello. It is the parents responsibility to make sure their kids know how to behave. If they can't do it then then the state should step in and take them away and then force the parents to pay the state for raising their children. I also think bullies should be kicked out of school and forced to be home schooled if they can't behave. It is a disgrace that kids that want to learn can't because someone that doesn't care about school takes up valuable time and disrupts school.


Mothergoose   April 12th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

I guess 96% of everyone posting on here assumes that she is blaming Facebook and her creditcard company.. Get a clue and reread the article. She takes responsiblity, she blames herself, what more should she do. Maybe just maybe her intentions are to warn the rest of you that obviously can not read that she doesn't want the rest to make the same mistake.

I agree that has to be an impressive farm tho.


Ric   April 12th, 2010 6:55 pm ET

It is truly amazing how many people read the article but failed to understand it. It seemed like it was written in pretty plain English.

Moral: Hide your f-ing credit card or better yet never own one.

Moral2: Pay more attention to what your kids are doing online.

Moral3: Facebook should not be able to bypass online secure payment processes as that damned "Verified by Visa" thing may be the only thing protecting you from anyone that gets their hands on your card


PJ   April 12th, 2010 7:01 pm ET

Hey- it's never too late to have an abortion... tie yer tubes, Lady...you should NOT be reproducing...


flatulatingbuddha   April 13th, 2010 6:22 am ET

"But she said she wished there was extra security to prevent such spending."
How about teaching your kids not to steal your credit cards?

"I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility"
Yes, YOUR kids stole YOUR credit card and it's their fault?

"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."
Since parents typically buy things for their kids...if you have the same surname, then typically it's implied...how about you simply teach your children not to touch your credit card.

"She said her son was unable to make mobile phone payments – because his older brother had lost credit buying a ringtone a couple of years earlier."
This is why you teach your children responsibility at a young age.


Jerry   April 13th, 2010 7:46 am ET

That must be one hell of a farm. Screen shots? :)


Oliver   April 13th, 2010 8:29 am ET

wow like that kid just said be one hell of a farm .


Lois   April 13th, 2010 9:55 am ET

Maybe I missed it, but why have to give CC info for a "free" game? I think on these things a spending limit could be entered by the parent. "No more than $10" etc. ?? Mom, the kid needs some valuable lessons to be taught. And no more computer! Farmville might be nice and suspend some of the charges? It's not like he purchased some merchandise that can't be returned. Ultimately, Mom it's on you, sadly.


1happycamper   April 13th, 2010 10:33 am ET

Here's a crazy thought, take your kids outside to run around and play.


Chrys Thorsen   April 13th, 2010 11:29 am ET

You can sure tell who the parents are in these posts. Kids are d@mned sneaky, and also very vulnerable to marketing. Besides, the mom wasn't blaming others. And, it's reasonable to ask for a few more security checks. Won't stop kids entirely, but might slow them down a bit. All you people who don't have kids are too quick to judge.


jake   April 13th, 2010 12:22 pm ET

Wow..........Maybe your son needs to get a life instead of spending enough time on a video game to rack up that much cash in the first place. And by the way the mom is just as stupid for letting the little 'blighter' as the brits would say to take the credit card in the first place.


momof2   April 13th, 2010 12:22 pm ET

Wow! A lot of people are judging this Mom as if her son went out and spent their money. Hopefully her son's adventure has given the mother some insight as to what she needs to do to teach her son about responsibility and stealing. Lesson learned. I hope all of you people are this critical of parents who allow their children to deal drugs and murder. As for me, I think this type of situation could be a learning experience for a lot of people. Instead of judging, let's look at our own parenting skills with a self-critical eye. That's what I plan on doing. Best wishes to this mother.


Andy   April 13th, 2010 12:57 pm ET

Of course the woman has only herself to blame – Facebook has a requirement that only people 13 or older are allowed. How did her 12 year old son get an account – by commiting fraud. He had to lie about his age – maybe in the UK that is acceptable. Also, if it is not his credit card – than the charges are fraudulent. In addition, he should not be able to spend money from his accoutn online if his is yougner than 13 – another fraud.

What is the mother teaching her son – it is okay to lie if Farmville is a lot of fun. This is in no way the fault of Facebook, Zynga, or Credit cards. There should be better controls in place – the mother. She should have control over what her 12 year old accesses, and also control of her credit card information. My son would never dare use my credit card – he would not have a computer or access again until he could buy his own.


Andy   April 13th, 2010 1:04 pm ET

Dwayne – your idiotic thinking is what is leading this world into a cesspool of hedonism – "A 12-year old will do what a 12-yr old wants" is the exact argument that has lead to worldwide AIDS, the financial crisis, and huge rates of teenage pregnancy. This is the argument made by lazy parents all over. I have an 11 year old – and he has very strict guidelines for PC use – always has. However, with some explanation – he came to the conclusion that he woudl not lie to get on Facebook.

I have warned him that if he buys a ringtone, uses the computer when he is not supposed to, or watches shows deemed innappropriate than he will lose his phone, computer, and tv privileges. He earned these rights by proving his responsibility at a young age, and maintaining excellence. He does slide from time to time, but then the privileges are removed.

The same works for my other children – privileges are just that – he has no right to a phone, computer, or tv. The phone is for my convenience – not his. Any misuse is addressed immediately and without mercy.

He has realized that he will have less limits when he can provide his own resources.


Day 5 « Confessions of a Facebook Addict   April 13th, 2010 5:46 pm ET

[...] http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/08/british-boy-racks-up-1400-on-farmville/#comment-48380 [...]


purewebdev   April 13th, 2010 7:55 pm ET

Just add some parental guidance, and that should fix things up. Oh, also might want to secure credit cards a little better.


Jen   April 13th, 2010 8:08 pm ET

To all the people who are commenting about how the "mother should teach her kid this or that" – I take it you've don't have kids. I am a parent and I can tell you this-- you can reason, talk nicely, explain, teach and when that doesn't work you can scream & holler & curse until you're red in the face and it won't matter – kids will still do the same stupid things (like this) and as the parent, you'll wonder how someone so stupid could have been created by you.


Randi’s Recap – April 14, 2010 « BUZZ 103.1 Florida's New Rock Alternative   April 14th, 2010 10:57 am ET

[...] listed.  She had to harvest her crops during the wedding or she would lose them.....haha.  Click here to read more about the British kid charging his mom's credit card.    Click here if you [...]


Nick   April 14th, 2010 12:04 pm ET

LMAO this is the 21 century. grade school kids have cell phones, and some reason all young kids needs there parents CC infro at some point. i say blame the kid. lol


Miz   April 14th, 2010 5:20 pm ET

Maybe this is part of the reason that Facebook has an age requirement....per Facebook pilocies website: No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible.

The entire page should be deleted, farm and all. Even so I'm surprised she couldn't get her money back from Zynga if the name on the account was his, it didn't match her card and they shouldn't have accepted it.


Matthew   April 15th, 2010 9:29 am ET

If a child wants to get your credit card you probably won't be able to stop them. I don't get how you think it's the mother's fault. Unless you lock your stuff up in a vault when you get home everyday your children could get your financial information. The child should be punished and I do think the mother should get her money back. She didn't make the purchases. She should submit it as a fraud claim.... TOUGH LOVE


...   April 15th, 2010 2:48 pm ET

Did these commenters even read the story?

The British mother, whose hometown was not listed in the story, said she doesn't blame Zynga, Facebook or her credit card company, although she tried to get the money back.

She's not blaming anyone but herself. She just wants something to be done to prevent it in the future. You'd be stupid financially to not try to get that money back in a young family like that. Anyone would try with laws about fraudulent use on credit cards.

I swear, the people that comment on things like this usually have the most half-baked statements.


Austen   April 15th, 2010 8:33 pm ET

It's amazing how people jump to conclusions that she's a terrible parent. Are you saying that it couldn't have been possible that the 12 year old child simply "borrowed" the card without his/her parents knowledge. I know that when I was 12, it would have been very easy for me to sneakily taken one of my parents credit cards because they left their wallets in the same places at home. As a parent, I would assume she trusts her child to a certain extent, and given today's lack of a concrete understanding of the value of money, it seems extremely plausible that a 12 year old child would not really understand the gravity of their actions until reprimanded. I think it's unfair to just blurt out that it's all the mother's fault, that she's a terrible parent, and that she got what she deserved. But then again most of the comments left seem to be the work of hair-brained idiots who view the internet as a forum for their unintellectual, verbal vomit. If you took the time to read the article, you would have noticed that the mother did not completely blame the company; And as for the comments attacking her for asking for increased security, you are some of the most ignorant people I have ever seen. It never crossed your mind that there should be some questions raised over a person attempting to buy a virtual product using a credit card with another person's name on it? I know that in my past I have run across many websites that require the names to be the same, or like companies that trade in virtual timecodes, they call the house and request information to make sure that the person attempting the purchase at least lives there. These are all measures that would keep "fraudulent" spending down.

Well this is a lengthy statement, thank goodness I don't spend more time on the message boards ripping your sorry asses apart. Go back to school and get some real world experiences, then come back and try to make jabs at the mother.


Heather Thomas   April 15th, 2010 8:42 pm ET

If I am not mistaken, there are antivirus programs out there with Parental controls where it takes a password to log in before any credit card information can be posted. Perhaps this woman should research and invest in something like this.


brad   April 16th, 2010 5:48 am ET

This woman sounds so very british. Something bad happened so rather than taking responsibility, she wants the govt to step in and do something about it. Thats how they lost the right to defend themselves as well btw.


BigTony   April 16th, 2010 8:53 am ET

"This woman sounds so very british. Something bad happened so rather than taking responsibility, she wants the govt to step in and do something about it. Thats how they lost the right to defend themselves as well btw. -Brad" brad, sounds like our welfare system and brad I think your on it, but unfortunately this mother took responsibility unlike the american's who cheat our system everyday. That is the problem with america and our outrageous spending, lets bail out everyone, because a line got drawn between class and reckless spending. Anyone can argue about anything they want on this issue, boy's fault, mother's fault, but when it comes down to it when someone receives a credit card I believe the holder has limited responsibility on purchases "exempting stolen, hacked, etc illegal card usage" and I believe my experiences with the credit system owners have liability to an extent, unfortunately us Americans this is our expertise! *cough cough bailout bailout....* You sign an agreement on these cards which didn't protect her. I'm glad the credit companies refused to give her money back, wish they did in america. She did take responsibility for it and I admire that more then anything, she paying it off!! I bet unlike half you Americans in credit card debt, lets charge and spend and spend until uncle sam bails us out.....I Say lies, look at the bailout... oh wait american's who knowingly bought items and got into debt *intelligent!*.... Lets all be hypocrites and trash this lady, whom took responsibility to pay it off! How many of you posted are still paying the computer you used off? (is it my business?) Maybe America wouldn't have such a financial, "bailout", or employment issue if more people were genuine and payed their expenses, admitted fault, and worked it off. (Yah, for you lady, pay off your unwilling charges!). Apparently if America had more people like this woman who PAYS, america wouldn't be spending all this unnecessary money. That is why when u get a credit card you should be able to afford to pay off the max limit. Apparently this lady deserves to own this card, because she is paying off an unwilling purchase... How many of you complain about your willing purchases? how many of u can pay off ur willing purchases? Apparently not too many, because i got a number i can share that says billions in bailout!


Bob   April 16th, 2010 9:51 am ET

If all of these people playing Farmville would put the same amount of time into a real farm, then we could lower the cost of food and be more healthy!


FalafelKing   April 16th, 2010 11:52 am ET

Since when does a pre-teen have access to a bank account?


TheGreatOne   April 16th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

Farmville? Playing and losing money... at Facebook? This kid must have spent hours and hours in front of a computer and have no social life whatsoever. We need legislation to limit use of social networks and internet based gaming to prevent our kids– and adults as well– from becoming robots, whose lives revolve around their computers and game consoles, same laws that are now about to be put in place in South Korea and other European countries.. In 20 years, the future of this nation will be passed on to a generation of social misfits, computer geeks and addicts and schizoid people who only have virtual friends and who have little connection to reality.


MrMaki   April 16th, 2010 7:16 pm ET

Its not the corporations fault that she does not know what is going on in her child's life. If anyone is to blame here its the parent for not keeping her child under control. People should stop trying to pass the blame and take responsibility for their actions.


“THE FRIDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS” » Blog Archive » April 16, 2010   April 16th, 2010 7:49 pm ET

[...] (CNN)  –  Report: British boy racks up $1,400 tab on Farmville.  "Fake crops on Farmville – the "free" social game that's become a huge hit on Facebook – cost a British mother some real cash after her 12-year-old son racked up $1,400 in charges on the game. The Guardian reports that the pre-teen needed only about two weeks to empty his own savings account then start using his mom's credit card. "When I asked him why he did it he said that they had brought out 'good stuff that I wanted,' " the mother, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper. Farmville, which last month reported having more than 75 million monthly players, is free to play. But players can spend money on extras, like virtual crops, tools and barns." I suppose only in the UK would a twelve year old be considered a "pre-teen"?  In Yemen, a twelve year old would considered an "old maid".  Rumor has it the kid spent the $1,400.00 in real money on tax shelters for his "Farmville" holdings.  A valuable "life lesson" in my mind.  I think the kid has the potential to become the future CEO of Band of America. [...]


rakesh kumar   April 17th, 2010 5:04 am ET

we cannot make the blade blunt because it cuts fingers


jon   April 17th, 2010 8:07 pm ET

I bet that kids farm was freaking awesome. It better be awesome $1400 later.


Dave   April 17th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

Franko's an idiot.


Victoria   April 18th, 2010 8:14 am ET

Guys, I would like to have a look at his farm! I have been playing Farmville since last October. I just can't understand what items the boy has spent all this money on :-)))?


Debt over Facebook « Maths Students Read the Newspaper   April 18th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

[...] http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2010/04/08/british-boy-racks-up-1400-on-farmville/ [...]


Fedos   April 19th, 2010 12:38 pm ET

This is not an issue of your credit card account being compromised. Your son took your card and used it to make online purchases. Because he had the card, he was able to correctly respond to the security measures used by the credit card company and the websites. Physically protecting your card, whether from your son or a stranger, is your responsibility.


Vincent Clark   April 19th, 2010 2:03 pm ET

kids do these things, it has been happening for a long time, even before people went online to spend money.

I remember before cell phones and unlimited long distance my friend racked up an $800.00 phone bill one month $900.00 the next calling friends from camp.

I had a friend that used his mom's card to by ninja equipment he got from a ninja catalog.

Asking for tighter security on the merchants end, I recommend tighter security on your child's spending. It is easy to go into the bank and put limits on how much can be spent in a period of time. If your child is stealing your credit cards, security starts at the wallet.

Online business have done quite a bit to protect against theft and fraud with security measures they implement, they cannot nor should not be required or even asked to implement security for other people's personal household. This is like asking a casino in Vegas to be more responsible with people withdrawing from their accounts or maxing their credit cards.


Britney   April 19th, 2010 3:38 pm ET

Even at 12 the kid should know "peeping" his mom's credit card number and using it to buy stuff is equivalent to grabbing a big wad of cash out of her purse


Britney   April 19th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

Oh and TheGreatOne, don't you have something more important to do than comment on this?


Ed   April 19th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

Cindy J, "Notice she never mentions in the article how he got her credit card?" ... How stupid are you? The mother obviously didn't write the CNN article.


Josh   April 19th, 2010 6:55 pm ET

Maybe she should watch what her kids are doing on the computer. She is lucky he wasnt signing credit card applications. There are "free money" programs online that let you do that sort of thing for points to get "lottery tickets" for "online drawings." Notice all of the quotes? Because its all scams playing the "barely legal" card.


CNNNEWS   April 19th, 2010 7:09 pm ET

The mother needs to watch her kid better.


alida   April 20th, 2010 12:10 am ET

FARM VILLE WAS CREATED FOR PEOPLE OLDER THAN THAT, ALSO, WHAT IS THE KID DOING WITH THE CREDIT CARD ALONE IN THE COMPUTER!
HE CAN GET NOT ONLY TO FARM VILLE, BUT ANY REAL DANGEROUS PLACE!
SORRY, BUT THESE TIME, PARENTS AND KID SEEM THE SAME!!!


Steele   April 20th, 2010 3:31 am ET

simple. have zynga receive a confirmation from the credit card holder before they charge the account for the purchases made, and in turn zynga only giving the player whatever premium items he/she wanted after they received the confirmation. its slightly slower but hey it will avoid incidents like these and better yet, discourage CREDIT CARD FRAUD which is an even bigger problem i'm sure zynga is facing.


JLEE SHINIGAMI   April 20th, 2010 3:22 pm ET

LOL I’m with JON,,,,,I want to see what that farm looked like! And I don’t even play the game now if my kid pulled that well he would have access to the computer long enough for him to systematically sell the farm off then we would cancel the account together, then he would be cutting lawns carrying groceries etc,,,,,until every dim was paid back, (of course I would probably be arrested for child abuse and violation of child labor laws now days),,,Kids do stupid things it natural, how we deal with it is what defines us as good parents or bad parents,,,,,when I was kid my friend Darren stole a bunch of cloths from the quicksilver his mom saw the tags put 2 and 2 together, Gary his stepdad had him return the cloths and explain how he had stolen them and you know what Darren decided stealing wasn’t his cup of tea,,,,,,


JLEE SHINIGAMI   April 20th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

lol GreatOne you’re in luck there is a place you can go live that already has great social controls and is already regulating the times it citizens can play social gaming – North Korea – you have a good time there I think you will fit right in, the rest of us will live with the risk of becoming robots in our silly free thinking democracies. “ ) Idiot!!!!!!!


Agriculture, Ethics, and the Environment » Farmville: Good or Bad?   April 27th, 2010 10:13 pm ET

[...] CNN report on the pre-teen spending money on Farmville can be read here. The above photo shows the image of Farmville plot. Members can choose what types of crops to [...]


jwark   June 4th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

The kid is 12 years old, things like this happen. People aren't robots, they make mistakes and parents aren't going to be 100% with stopping their kids from doing things like this no matter how much of a self-proclaimed super parent they are. It could happen to ANYONE.

Games should not let 12 year old kids purchase anything with money. If it does happen, they should give it back. It's nothing but their greed that is stopping them from doing so.

I love how so many people just bash the mother and completely forgive the greedy company.


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