A twelve-year-old boy has run up a £900 bill playing what is advertised as a free game on Facebook.
The light-fingered scamp carved his way through £288 of his own savings to buy add-ons for the agriculture-em-up online game before lifting his mother's credit cards to pay for his farming fix.
Farmville is punted as a free game and players can generate in-game currency by growing and selling crops and animals. But impatient players can boost their earnings by purchasing game credits - or coins as they called in Farmville - using real money.
The anonymous urchin ran up another £427 in bills before his mother got a statement and put a stop to the account. Even then the total continued to rise as unbilled items worked their way through the system, eventually ending up with a total of £625.
Mum's credit card company said that the only way they would cough up a refund was if she reported her kid to the cops.
Game maker Zynga said that they would not pay back the money because he lived at the same billing address as the credit card holder.
The mother pointed out, quite reasonably, that Facebook and Zynga should have checks in place when people use a credit card in a different name to the online account.
Apparently, the kid is now banned from using Facebook which means his £900 worth of digital dirt is lying fallow. Maybe his mum should buy him some real seeds and send him out into the garden as a punishment.
Source: The Guardian