A 12-year-old boy from Spain who dreamed of becoming a popular YouTube entertainer and making lots of money online, signed up for Google’s Adwords promotion program instead of its Adsense revenue program and racked up €100,000 in debt.
Jose Javier, from the town of Torrevieja, in Spain’s Alicante province, dreamed of becoming rich and famous, like his favorite youtubers, so in August, he decided to set up his own YouTube account and register for Google’s lucrative revenue generation program. Only it appears he didn’t know anything about this digital tool, or even its exact name, because instead of opening an account with Adsense, he registered for Adwords, which instead of paying users ad revenue generated by traffic on their webpage or YouTube channel, charges them for promoting products or webpages on the internet. So instead of making money, he was spending it, and fast.
In order to register for Adwords, the wannabe youtuber used a bank account that his parents had set up for him to encourage him to save money. Because of the way that the advertising campaigns were set up in Adwords, advertising fees started piling up very fast, and the €2,000 originally available in the bank account evaporated in a matter of days. When the balance started showing up in the red, bank employees called Javier’s parents and told them that Google was attempting to charge the account for tens of thousands of dollars. The boy’s mother, Inma Quesada, told bank employees to block the transactions, but because Javier’s Adwords account was still active, his debt kept rising.