Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sunshineaftertherain, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Hi we didnt want to give our son more money to buy Vbucks for one of his games.
    We received email to say there is strange transactions going on on our account...
    Son says yes he created a gmail account and used our creditcard number to buy Vbucks...
    So he stole and lied to and from us.
    What would you do we handle this?
    What is fair consequences for a 15 yr old child?
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son did this at 13. He memorized my ex's CC to order porn movies. It was over $1000. We told him this was his Christmas present.

    Christmas was close like it is now. We did get a few necessities for him like pants and socks but thats all. Nothing fun. He sat and pouted the whole day but he never did that again. To us stealing is a big deal and required big consequences.
  3. I am not sure if we are to tuff on him now...but this is a big thing for us....because this is not the first time...we didnt know the other transactions has also been him...
    We said consequences: We will buy no further games/ in app purches/ upgrades or V bucks before January.
    He will be allowed 1 minute gaming time for 1 minute homework ( he isnt interested in any learning for his exams)
    He needs to do chores to pay back the money.
    No friends coming here or he going to them until end of Nov ( When exams are over)
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I don't think you are being too tough at all. I might also have him research the legal definition of "identity theft" and adult penalties for engaging in such activities and report his findings back to you. Make it a discussion of the moral, ethical and legal ramifications for this kind of behavior. Also discuss the potential harm to you individually and as a family - the importance of credit ratings, the problems with carrying high credit card debt, what would happen if he ran up debts you were not able to pay off. He needs to see the whole picture, not just in terms of "this is wrong because mom/dad says so" but "this is a behavior with actual harms to someone else."

    So yes, absolutely be tough on him - stealing is a big deal, and he needs serious consequences to drive the lesson home.

    But...I also wouldn't freak out about it too much, or assume that this is the start of a long criminal career. He's young, and I don't think this kind of thing is all that uncommon at this age. Especially with the video games. I HATE the new style games with all of the in-app purchases and microtransactions. They design them to be sooooooo incredibly addictive - they actually use cognitive research to design them this way deliberately. It's not a drug, but the reward cycle activity in the brain isn't all that different. And the cooperative nature of the games, where you feel like you're letting down a "team" if you don't advance fast enough, makes it that much worse.

    I once, in a moment of geeky boredom, briefly checked out one of those online battle games for iOS with all of the guilds/leagues or whatever and chatted with some of the other players. I discovered that the big players dominating the game boards were spending on average $500-600 per month!!!!! I talked to one who had been playing for 4 months and estimated he had spent $3,000. His wife was divorcing him. He was still playing. It blew my mind. But those games are designed to hook players and drive just that kind of behavior. I am so glad that when my kids were that age games might have cost $60 up front but were played offline and solo - no further investment required to win. I shudder to think what I might have been in for otherwise. (Though they also grew up prior to unlimited texting plans, and I vividly recall the $1200 cell phone bill I got when S got a boyfriend who was on a different network.)

    So yeah, keep an eye on the gaming behavior, and make sure he's got plenty of "real life" pursuits as well.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It's not just kids stealing parents' credit card or banking information. A couple of months ago, I got a text from one of my credit card companies asking me to call their fraud department urgently.

    Naturally, I called. Turns out there were thousands of dollars of charges made by various individuals over a short period of time, all to Blizzard Games, the manufacturers of Warcraft, amongst others.

    Thankfully, the credit card company didn't allow the charges to go through.

    What had happened was that my card was breached at some point, and the number sold to various individuals, who decided to spend their newfound "$$$" on video game (I don't know what? Points?).

    Speaking with the fraud specialist, it turns out that when breaches happen, video game "stuff" is one of the most common things charged to stolen credit card accounts.

    In my case, the whole thing cost me nothing other than the inconvenience of my old card being deactivated and having to wait for 2 weeks while a new card was sent out to me.

    The vendors who accept the online charges have NO idea that the account numbers used to pay for whatever they sell are fraudulent as the vendors are selling online.

    The solution? Vendors start requiring a photo ID copy each time they accept a credit card, as opposed to storing credit cards. It'll never happen. Too much time, inconvenience to customers, and it would require massive server storage place for the drivers' licence photos.
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Good point - it's not always the kids! I've had credit cards breached twice. Both times my bank called right away to ask. In one case, someone had ordered a $2,000 pin ball machine ( In another case, someone in another state was going on a massive shopping spree at Target and then an adult store (also no).
  7. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Maybe take away whatever he plays the game on (computer, Xbox) for a defined period. Say if it ever happens again, gaming is gone permanently. My CC has fraud protection that notifies me of any charge over $75, any online transactions, or any gas station transactions. About 2 months ago my number was compromised and charges from Texas and New Jersey came in. I cancelled it right away and wasn’t responsible for the charges.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It isnt always kids. But its not a good sign for the kid who does it. This may be a very nice kid and this was his first deed that needs correction. I would definitely make him pay some consequences. Taking away the computer sounds really good to me. its a consequence that fits the crime.