Teenager takes $20,000 of parent's money, gives it to Twitch streamers

midian182

Posts: 7,175   +65
Staff member
Facepalm: It seems no matter how many times it happens, teenagers are still managing to spend thousands of dollars of their parents’ money without them realizing. While this usually goes on in-game purchases, the latest incident saw almost $20,000 spent on Twitch streamers.

According to a post on the Twitch subreddit from the teen’s mother, the minor spent years of savings in just 17 days using a debit card. The boy paid for subscriptions, which can go as high as $24.99 per month, bought Bits—virtual goods used to Cheer in chat messages—and made uncapped donations to various streamers.

Speaking to Dot Esports, the mother said that $19,870.94 was charged to a debit card between June 14 and 30. Some of the money went to popular streamers, including Tfue, Gorb, and Ewokttv, as well as athletes including Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kurt Benkert and Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard.

20k in donations by minor in 17 days from r/Twitch

How did the son get access to so much cash? It seems he was given a debit card with a “nominal balance” to buy school dinners, but he started transferring money from his mother’s bank account onto the card to pay for his Twitch spending. She believes he might have seen her password while transferring money to his account for completing chores, or she might have left herself logged in. As the mother only checked her account twice per month, she never realized how much was missing until it was too late.

“I contacted my bank as soon as I found out and they froze all of our accounts, and his debit card was canceled,” she said. “Unless I press charges against my son, they will not help as this is considered friendly fraud.”

Also known as chargeback fraud, friendly fraud occurs when a consumer makes an online shopping purchase with their own credit card, and then requests a chargeback from the issuing bank after receiving the purchased goods or services.

The mother said Twitch has failed to respond to her pleas for over two weeks, while company owner Amazon told her to contact Twitch directly. Maybe Jeff Bezos could use some of the $13 billion he made on Monday to help her out?

While the bank and Twitch/Amazon don’t appear too willing to assist, contacting the streamers directly and asking if they’d return the donations could be an option.

We’ve seen plenty of cases where kids somehow manage to spend thousands on microtransactions: $6,000 on Roblox, $8,000 on FIFA, $7,500 on in-app purchases. But this is one case where the parent claims responsibility, rather than blaming the entities that accepted the money.

“I work too many hours, and have not paid close enough attention to what he was doing online,” she said. “His internet knowledge has absolutely surpassed mine […] My focus now though is trying to figure out why he did it so I can make sure this is the one giant mistake he makes in his life.”

Image credit: fizkes

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Mister_K

Posts: 2,083   +784
I remember stealing £20s worth when I was a child to spend on internet cafe / sweets / bbguns. The beat down I gotten was unreal. Worked tho.

Anywhichway, the parents in this case are absolute *****s. The child from what I read has mental issues.

Streamers, what a waste of time to watch someone play games and glorify. There is a whole world out there, but nope, kids fixate on streamers. I guess its not any different than sports personalities, musicians, actors etc...

If it was a Fortnite streamer, put the kid up for adoption too.
 

fadingfool

Posts: 234   +231
I doubt the mother in question will have $20,000 worth of chores to do so may need to outsource her son to friends and family. Taking the USA minimum wage on wiki = $11.80 that's 1695 hours of work. 3 hours a day, 5 days a week = a little over 2 years to pay it back.
I think 2 years of punishment chores might teach an important lesson (could always reduce the time by deducting birthday and Christmas presents from the total) .
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +730
I doubt the mother in question will have $20,000 worth of chores to do so may need to outsource her son to friends and family. Taking the USA minimum wage on wiki = $11.80 that's 1695 hours of work. 3 hours a day, 5 days a week = a little over 2 years to pay it back.
I think 2 years of punishment chores might teach an important lesson (could always reduce the time by deducting birthday and Christmas presents from the total) .

That's what my mom did when the phone bill came after I made international calls. I dated an exchange student, when she went back to England is call her often not realizing the cost. After my mom got a bill for 1300 for international calling, I did chores that I wouldn't normally do. These included bleaching the tiles white under the stove so they matched the rest of the floor, then I made them to bright so I had to bleach the whole floor, Repainted the kitchen walls, and then I got sent to her friends houses to babysit their kids, or fix their computers for free. For a year I was free computer repair to all her friends.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,351   +3,440
This is a teenager we are talking about, right. He is not a little child anymore to not know what he did. And just imagine taking $20K and instead of spending it on cool **** you waste it on some shoddy streamer with a personality of a wet mop.
 

silversea

Posts: 43   +66
Kids growing up today are spoiled they take to much for granted, back in the 50's and 60's when I was growing up my father disciplined us with a razor strap some times I couldn't sit for days because of the welts on my back side we need to go back to them days problem is our society these days does not believe in corporal punishment they believe in spare the rod and spoil the child and in the end the child still rebels against the parents, I had great respect for my parents growing up before they punished us they always sat us down and explained to us why they were going to do whatever it was we had coming and after the punishment was over we were always asked what we learned from it I never thought bad of them that I can remember, if it were not for my parents doing the things they did, the way they did I would not have turned into the man I am today, 22 years Retired Army Veteran, 20 years Retired Lockheed Martin 42 years of Aviation. Bring back Corporal Punishment!
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
The problem with corporal punishment is that if the child gets used to it, it often ends up losing effectiveness. The child will just endure the punishment no matter how painful, and move on to their next shenanigans. Might not happen in every case but it does happen often. Punishment through sanctions / loss of privileges is a lot more effective - as long as the parents have a spine and never back down on them.

In the article's case, the parents should just ban the teen from Twitch and all streaming sites for life (or as long as he's living with them) by any means necessary, even if it means losing his PC and gadgets, and of course no more credit or debt cards ever again, give him cash only from now on - that would probably be enough punishment. The problem is that if the mother is a typical modern parent (as seems to be the case, for allowing this to happen in the first place...), they won't even do something like that...

And this is yet another case showing why monetized streaming platforms like Twitch should be regulated. There ought to be some sort of limits on how much people can spend.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,575   +4,971
Kids growing up today are spoiled they take to much for granted
Honestly, having been a kid once myself, I think kids these days have no clue WRT the value of things having not yet gained the maturity to recognize such value. Plus, modern society fosters thinking in kids, in essence, those who have the most shiny trinkets are the winners in society.

As I see it, most of the successful streamers these days are almost certainly not worth the storage bits necessary to contain their material. However, it makes all those concerned money and, of course, money is all that matters because with it can be bought the most shiny trinkets. :facepalm:

IMO, this kind of thing is not at all beyond behavior exhibited by many primates other than homo sapiens.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,083   +784
Only now I've noticed this sentence in your comment.

If that's true, then it's 2 people with mental issues - the kid and his mother. A sane parent would never hand a debt card to a kid with mental problems.

I mean I completely made it up. But after reading some of those comments on that reddit post and the reply from the mother* it makes me wonder (how I came to this conc). But indeed, mother has mental issues as well.

I would give my child an allowance, but only if my kid would show something for it. Hard work, good grades or something of value (not to me but to themself). But then again I am far from being ready to be a parent myself...
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,854   +2,225
Before talk & text were free, a boss of mine had a daughter that ran up several hundred dollars in text message overages. How did he handle it? Took her phone away from her the last day of school, made her come into the office a few hours each day to work it off, and she didn't get her phone back until the first day of the next school year...NO talk/text for the entire summer. To a lot of kids, that would have been punishment enough, but also making her "work it off" taught her a valuable lesson.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
I mean I completely made it up. But after reading some of those comments on that reddit post and the reply from the mother* it makes me wonder (how I came to this conc). But indeed, mother has mental issues as well.

I would give my child an allowance, but only if my kid would show something for it. Hard work, good grades or something of value (not to me but to themself). But then again I am far from being ready to be a parent myself...

Yeah I did read the Reddit thread afterwards and the teen apparently was of sound mind and had no known mental issues at all. The mother however seemed pretty clueless, after some people asked why she didn't give him prepaid debt cards in the Reddit thread, she had never even heard of prepaid cards... maybe it's just a hereditary case of low IQ family. At least the mother said she's going to put him on therapy after this.

It's pretty bizarre, even as a child and even moreso as a teen, I was fully aware that even 100 bucks was a significant amount of money. As an early teen me and my friends would get on our bikes and visit all convenience stores in the neighborhood searching for the best prices to shop our junk food and soda with our allowances. My parents never even let me touch their credit cards, but I doubt I'd ever screw up this bad if they did.
 

Godel

Posts: 275   +171
If that's true, then it's 2 people with mental issues - the kid and his mother. A sane parent would never hand a debt card to a kid with mental problems.

It was a debit card on an account with a limited balance. The kid illegally transferred more money into his account by stealing it from his mother's account.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
Before talk & text were free, a boss of mine had a daughter that ran up several hundred dollars in text message overages. How did he handle it? Took her phone away from her the last day of school, made her come into the office a few hours each day to work it off, and she didn't get her phone back until the first day of the next school year...NO talk/text for the entire summer. To a lot of kids, that would have been punishment enough, but also making her "work it off" taught her a valuable lesson.

Hah, your story reminds me... back in my teens, a cousin around my age raked a phone bill over $500 on those phone sex hotlines that were all the rage back then. My uncle made him sell almost all his video game consoles and games to pay off the debt (he had a pretty nice collection that most kids would envy).
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +730
The problem with corporal punishment is that if the child gets used to it, it often ends up losing effectiveness. The child will just endure the punishment no matter how painful, and move on to their next shenanigans. Might not happen in every case but it does happen often. Punishment through sanctions / loss of privileges is a lot more effective - as long as the parents have a spine and never back down on them.

In the article's case, the parents should just ban the teen from Twitch and all streaming sites for life (or as long as he's living with them) by any means necessary, even if it means losing his PC and gadgets, and of course no more credit or debt cards ever again, give him cash only from now on - that would probably be enough punishment. The problem is that if the mother is a typical modern parent (as seems to be the case, for allowing this to happen in the first place...), they won't even do something like that...

And this is yet another case showing why monetized streaming platforms like Twitch should be regulated. There ought to be some sort of limits on how much people can spend.

Depends again on the kid, I wasnt a good kid I'll admit that, what worked for was depriving me of free time to think. When I was a kid first I got the belt and eventually I laughed as I was hit with it, I stopped feeling it. Then my dad came into my room and took, my computer, my tv, my Dreamcast, my Saturn, my SNES, my NES, and my game gear (bought with money cutting grass during the spring, summer,and falls). I still had time to think. It was when my mother after my parents divorce took away my ability to not be constantly busy and no time to think did I straighten up.

Idle hands are a dangerous thing, keep that in mind. That's why grounding doesn't really work, it makes the kid resentful because now they've lost their freedom and things to occupy their time so all they can really think about is how mad they are.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,083   +784
Yeah I did read the Reddit thread afterwards and the teen apparently was of sound mind and had no known mental issues at all. The mother however seemed pretty clueless, after some people asked why she didn't give him prepaid debt cards in the Reddit thread, she had never even heard of prepaid cards... maybe it's just a hereditary case of low IQ family. At least the mother said she's going to put him on therapy after this.

It's pretty bizarre, even as a child and even moreso as a teen, I was fully aware that even 100 bucks was a significant amount of money. As an early teen me and my friends would get on our bikes and visit all convenience stores in the neighborhood searching for the best prices to shop our junk food and soda with our allowances. My parents never even let me touch their credit cards, but I doubt I'd ever screw up this bad if they did.

The conclusion I made is how a teen can go ahead and have lack of knowledge how much $20,000 is. Somewhere around the age of 13+ you start to realise the value and severity of things, some even younger.

Yeah last thing you want is to be resentful.That can stick and have a bigger impact in the adult life of the child. At the same time, there is a balance between a whooping and using plain ol' words that won't do **** and spawn the little devils we have now. Lack of respect towards anyone and just being spoiled. Maybe the whooping I got might have made me a little more aggressive opposed to clever use of reasoning. Maybe we need to treat kids more like adults when we handle situations.
 

mailpup

Posts: 7,690   +769
TS Special Forces
Maybe we need to treat kids more like adults when we handle situations.
Maybe. But kids aren't adults and this kid proved it by his actions. Even adults need to learn that there are consequences to misdeeds. Whatever punishment there might be it should be commensurate with the offense, IMO.
 

Xallisto

Posts: 141   +159
“Unless I press charges against my son, they will not help as this is considered friendly fraud.”

I would press charges against him blood or no blood, he needs to be severely punished.

This isn't a case of him not knowing since he was transferring cash from 1 account to another.
 

Bp968

Posts: 236   +167
It was a debit card on an account with a limited balance. The kid illegally transferred more money into his account by stealing it from his mother's account.

Yes, since he's under age I would probably press charges against him. 20 grand is a huge amount of money. If he stole the money and put it into an index fund he would have 62-65k in 20 years. Instead a few celebrities and streamers can buy a little extra blow and a few extras from their hookers. Heck, id have more respect for the kid if *he* had spent it on hookers and blow himself. Instead some rich streamer said "thanks for the bits dude" if he was lucky. Money well spent... /s