Boy Racks Up $800 Bill on Farmville

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Rusty Boxcars/Flickr
    Virtual currency helps fake farmers increase their crops on Farmville.

    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.