scorecardA teenage girl found her mom's debit card and spent $64,000 on mobile games, wiping out her family's life savings
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A teenage girl found her mom's debit card and spent $64,000 on mobile games, wiping out her family's life savings

Matthew Loh   

A teenage girl found her mom's debit card and spent $64,000 on mobile games, wiping out her family's life savings
LifeInternational2 min read
  • A teenage girl in China spent her family's life savings on mobile-game transactions.
  • She spent some $64,000 from January to May through her mother's debit card, per Elephant News.

A 13-year-old girl in China spent around $64,000 of her parents' money on mobile games this year, wiping out their savings account without their knowledge.

Gong Yiwang learned about the spending spree in late May after receiving a call from a teacher at her daughter's boarding school, who worried the child was addicted to pay-to-play games, according to Elephant News, a regional TV channel in the Henan province.

When Gong checked her bank account, she realized it was left with a bank balance of only seven cents.

She later discovered that from January to May, her daughter had spent around $16,800 buying game accounts and almost $30,000 on in-game purchases, per Elephant News. The girl also transferred money to at least 10 classmates who wanted to buy game products for themselves, bringing the total cost of the child's monthslong binge to around $64,000.

"I never thought a 13-year-old girl could do this," Gong told Elephant News. "I'm in a daze; my head feels like it's going to explode."

Weeping as she spoke, Gong's daughter told Elephant News that she had linked her mother's debit card to her mobile phone but didn't know where the money came from or how much she was spending. She said that she remembered her mother telling her the account's password from a previous occasion when she asked to buy something else.

She said her school friends noticed her newfound spending power and pestered her for money.

"If I didn't send it to them, they would bother me all day. If I told the teacher, I was afraid that the teacher would tell my parents and that my parents would be angry," she told Elephant News.

She also deleted chat and transaction records to hide the payments from her parents, per the outlet.

Gong said she reached out to several payment platforms to request refunds but had yet to recoup her losses on the full sum.

The story of the girl's spending habits went viral in China in late May, receiving more than 140 million views on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, per data seen by Insider.

Gaming addiction among youth in China is so prevalent that the country has introduced internet restrictions on teenagers and children. Teens in the country aren't supposed to play video games for more than three hours a week, a goal the Chinese government said it was progressing steadily toward.




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