Kids racking up huge bills by buying microtransactions is nothing new, with the practice even criticized by celebrities like Kanye West, who feels that microtransactions shouldn’t be in kids’ games at all. While there are many ways to prevent kids from buying microtransactions without permission, sometimes mistakes happen, with Reddit user A_Sad_Frog losing $531 to Fortnite V-Bucks by letting his niece and five year old nephew use his PSN account.
Frog describes his niece and nephew as “bright, kind, good-natured kids.” Since they don’t have many quality games on their PSN accounts, Frog decided to let them use his PSN account so that they could have access to his “far superior collection of games.” He also thought that they would need his card verification code to make any purchases, so he wasn’t worried about them buying games or microtranscations. Everything was fine for a month or so, but then Frog was contacted by the kids’ father (his brother-in-law), who became suspicious after the kids suddenly had over 65,000 in V-Bucks, which are the in-game currency in Fortnite.
Frog then checked his bank account and saw that the kids had purchased £422.90 worth of V-Bucks ($531 in the US), as apparently it’s possible to buy PlayStation Store funds without needing credit card verification. The kids then used the money they put on the PlayStation wallet to buy V-Bucks in Fortnite.
After researching his options when it came to possibly getting a refund for the Fortnite V-Bucks, Frog discovered that he was basically out of luck. Then to make matters worse, the bank account where the PlayStation Store funds came from included money that his girlfriend was saving for a trip to visit her family in the US. “She will have expenses sorted because she’s staying with family, but she will be going with virtually zero spending money now, and they had a number of activites [sic] planned which she likely can’t take part in now.”
“I’m not mad at the kids. I genuinely don’t think they meant it. I’m mad at myself. I didn’t think it was possible, but then I should have done more research,” Frog continued. “We’re not a rich couple, and this one has hit us both pretty hard.”
Frog ended his post with a warning PSN users making sure their payment security features are set up properly so that they don’t end up in the same situation as him.
Fortnite is out now in early access for iOS, Android, PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.