Boy Racks Up $800 Bill on Farmville

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Apr 8, 2010  |  Updated 10:22 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Silicon Valley High-Tech Company Tour

Rusty Boxcars/Flickr

Virtual currency helps fake farmers increase their crops on Farmville.

Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

A British woman found out that a "free" game on Facebook isn't free after all.

According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, a 12-year-old boy ran up an $800 bill on Farmville credits. After going through his own $300 in savings, the boy took over his mum's credit card to add to his stock of seeds and farm animals.

The boy's mom says she doesn't blame the credit card company, Facebook, or Zynga, the Bay Area company behind the game.

"I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again." The boy's mom told the paper. "The fact that he was using a card in a different name should bring up some sort of security and the online secure payment filter seems to be bypassed for Facebook payments."

The game is free and players can rack up virtual currency by growing and selling animals and crops and bugging their Facebook friends for help. The more ambitious virtual farmers can spend real money on the fake items.

The credit card company reportedly told the mom they wouldn't refund the cash unless she reported her son to the cops. Zynga, which also created Mafia Wars, reportedly told the mom that they wouldn't pay back the money because the boy lives at the same address as the credit card holder.

We have a call into Zynga for their response.

Photo from Rusty Boxcars via Flickr.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out