13-Year-Old Spends $63,000 of Family’s Savings on Mobile Games

The parents of a 13-year-old gaming-addicted girl in China’s Henan province got the shock of their lives when they learned that she had spent 449,500 yuan ($63,000) on mobile games.

Imagine checking the savings account you’ve been putting money into for years and seeing it depleted overnight. That’s exactly how one mother in China felt when she discovered that someone had left only 0.5 yuan of the 449,500 yuan ($63,000) she and her husband had been saving for years. More shocking still was the discovery that the culprit had been her teen daughter, who had been using the woman’s debit card to fuel her video game addiction. The girl had managed to deplete the savings account in about four months but managed to keep her spending habit a secret from her mother by deleting all banking history from her phone.

Photo: Pandhuya Niking/Unsplash

It was only after the girl’s teacher noticed her spending too much time on her mobile phone at school and notified her mother about it that her mother started realizing that something could be wrong. In a video that has been doing the rounds on social media, the woman can be seen going through sheets of bank statements detailing her daughter’s spending.

According to the South China Morning Post, the 13-year-old girl spent 330,000 yuan on buying games and making in-game purchases, as well as about 100,000 yuan buying games for her schoolmates. The girl said that she felt pressured by her colleagues and worried that her parents “would find out” about her gaming habits and “be angry”, so she decided to please them by buying games for them with her mother’s credit card.

“When my friends asked me to pay for games, I did, even though I was uncomfortable,” the girl said.

The 13-year-old’s mother admitted that she had made the mistake of giving the girl the PIN code for her debit card, in case she urgently needed money for an emergency. She never imagined that her daughter would deplete the family savings account in just four months.

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