It’s something of a nightmare for parents these days: You wake up only to discover your bank account has been drained by your children spending money online. We’ve seen it happen with microtransactions in games, but one teenager managed to spend close to $20,000 through Twitch donations.
Speaking to Dot Esports, the teenage boy’s mother revealed that over the course of two weeks in June, he donated more than $19,870 in Twitch donations using her debit card, and these donations went to both career Twitch streamers as well as professional athletes like Falcons quarterback Kurt Benkert.
Nearly all of the money was returned to her bank account by contacting the firm Xsolla, which Twitch uses for payments. The son is now limited to an hour of gaming per day and must also pursue activities outside and with his family.
Children’s easy ability to spend small amounts of money over time, which turn into huge bills, is hardly new. Back in 2014, Apple agreed to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds as a result of children making in-app purchases. A few years later, Microsoft refunded parents for an $8,000 bill after their son racked up charges playing FIFA on Xbox.