June 10, 2023 5:11 p.m | 1 min reading
A 13-year-old girl in China spent her family’s life savings, roughly $64,000, on pay-to-play mobile video games.
According to Insider, the teenager’s mother, Gong Yiwangwas surprised to receive a call from the school informing her of her daughter’s addiction to pay-to-play games.
After the call from the school, Gong checked her bank account, which only had 7 cents.
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The insider reported that Gong then discovered that her daughter had gone on a 5-month spending spree from January to May, totaling about $16,800 in in-game accounts and nearly $30,000 in in-game purchases.
“I never thought that a 13-year-old girl could do this,” Gong told local television station Elephant News, per Insider. “I’m dizzy; my head feels like it’s going to explode.”
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According to the outlet, Gong’s daughter said she had no idea where the money or the tab she collected came from — she just knew her mother’s bank account was linked to her cellphone. She also said that her friends started asking her for money after they found out that she had been spending a lot on free games.
“If I didn’t send them, they would bother me all day,” the teenager said of her friends. “If I told the teacher, I was afraid that the teacher would tell my parents and that my parents would be angry,” she added.
The teenager deleted the transactions and messages to hide her purchases from her parents.
Gong is said to be trying to recoup the money lost due to her child’s gaming habits, but has yet to receive a refund.
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