6-Year-Old Boy Racks Up By Accident $16k on His Mother’s Credit Card While Playing Video Games | Inside Edition

6-Year-Old Boy Racks Up By Accident $16k on His Mother’s Credit Card While Playing Video Games

A stock photo of a young boy playing a video game on his ipad.
Getty Stock Images

Johnson said she had a password set on the iPad, which she and her children share, though she believes her settings allowed for a one-time password entry, GMA reported.

A 6-year-old boy from Connecticut apparently had a little too much fun when he spent over $16,000 on his mother’s credit card while playing iPad video games.

Little George Johnson having no idea that he was racking up a hefty bill kept on playing the game Sonic Forces and buying rings in the Apple app store, according to his mother, Jessica Johnson, 41.  The more he played, the higher his mother’s charge card grew and grew, eventually to a whopping $16,293.10. George, apparently, purchased accessories — starting with the red rings that cost $1.99 all the way to gold rings that are priced at $99.99 dollars, which gives a player access to new characters and more speed, Entrepreneur Magazine reported. 

George's mom was flabbergasted, as any parent would be, and told Good Morning America during an interview that her PayPal account was linked to the iPad.

Johnson discovered what was happening on her account in July when she noticed a charge of $106.34 on her bank statement 12 consecutive times. As well as additional charges of $53.16 and several more in the $200 to $600 range, reported GMA. After she contacted her bank about the activity, she learned in October that she would be responsible for the charges made, and the bank suggested she reach out to Apple, People Magazine reported.

Johnson said she had a password set on the iPad, which she and her children share, though she believed her settings allowed for a one-time password entry unaware that she had given her little boy unlimited access.

"I didn't realize there was a setting where the child could continue to buy without the password after a certain amount of time," said Johnson to GMA. ”There are various settings that now I'm learning about."

Apple later agreed to refund Johnson a portion of the money, a total of $10,553.86, reported the magazine.

In a statement to GMA, Apple stated that its customers are provided with built-in tools to help parents manage their child’s use of devices. And, that the resources also aim to protect families against unauthorized in-app charges.

"We understand mistakes can still happen and work with customers to investigate, educate them on the tools available for their protection and, in this case, provided the customer with a refund," Apple said.

Johnson explained that she was unaware of certain settings. If she did know, clearly there would have been a different outcome.

“Obviously, if I had known there was a setting for that, I wouldn’t have allowed my 6-year-old to run up nearly $20,000 in charges for virtual gold rings,” said Johnson reported the New York Post.

A costly mistake no doubt, but George did not get punished, instead, it was a good time for a teaching moment.  

”He was very apologetic, and he's a sensitive kid," she told GMA. "You think about the part of losing the money, but you never think about the kid ... them being afraid of getting in trouble.”

Since the incident, Johnson is a lot more proactive. She changed all her passwords and she purchased a game console her children can now play with instead. She also shared her story on her Facebook mom's page so other parents are aware that an experience like this can happen to them too.

“These games are designed to be completely predatory and get kids to buy things," she told the Post. "What grown-up would spend $100 on a chest of virtual gold coins?” 

RELATED STORIES