12-year-old racks up $1,200 debt thanks to FarmVille

After spending his own money an English 12-year-old figured that his mother’s credit card would be ideal for picking up some more really cool things in FarmVille, a leading <cough>social game</cough> on Facebook. By the time the mother found out her son had spent his own £288.00 and then burned her credit card for £688.00.

To her credit the mother isn’t whiny about the incident and apparently willing to take the bite after her bank, HSBC, said the only way they could reimburse her was if she had her son charged by the police. This was on top of being told by Zynga, the company making a royal fortune from their game’s in-game sales, that maybe she should change the passwords. Facebook in their typical fashion has disabled the son’s account with the social network service.

She does not blame Facebook, Zynga or HSBC, saying that her son was the one using the card and is entirely at fault. But she added: “I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again. 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.”

A spokeswoman for HSBC said that had the credit card been used on a gambling site it would have started alarm bells ringing for “unusual usage”. But because the card had been used to buy Facebook credits HSBC did not consider the transactions to be suspicious, even though £625 was spent in just two weeks.