A teenager in China used her family’s savings to feed her gaming habit.
What happened: The 13-year-old girl from Henan, China, reportedly spent around 449,500 yuan (approximately $63,260) in the span of four months.
She used her mother’s debit card to buy mobile games for both herself and her classmates, making sure to delete every transaction record so her mother would not find out.
Finally caught: The unnamed teenager’s mother claimed she found out about the purchases after being informed by one of the girl’s teachers. The teacher reportedly told the mother that the girl was spending a lot of time on her phone while at school.
Less than a dollar: The teenager’s mother was alerted too late — when she finally checked her bank balance, there was only 0.50 yuan (approximately $0.07) left, according to reports.
Viral video: An interview of the girl and her family has gone viral on Chinese social media. In the video, the girl’s mother shows purported bank statements that include every purchase her daughter made.
“When they [my classmates] asked me to pay for their games, I paid despite feeling reluctant,” the girl says in the interview, according to South China Morning Post.
She also said she did not approach her teachers for help because her “parents will find out and get angry.”
Online debate: Several social media users were critical of the girl and her parents.
“A girl, aged 13 years old, already knows what she is doing, but she just doesn’t want to admit it,” one user wrote.
“It’s the parents’ own fault,” another user said.