A mom had the shock of her life when she discovered the eyewatering sum of money her 6-year-old son had unknowingly racked up on a popular video game.

And it was only made worse when Apple reportedly refused to refund her. Safe to say, people are stunned after finding out why...

 

It's the scenario every parent dreads, isn't it?

Real estate broker, Jessica Johnson, had no idea that one of her 2 sons, George, had been accidentally getting up to no good on her iPad.

And, by the time she made the sickening discovery...

Well, it was too late, and the consequences she has to pay now are nothing short of devastating.

But many have argued that this is a mere consequence of the video gaming era we're currently living in.

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Over 2 billion people all over the world play video games, with 150 million of those being here in the United States alone.

Granted, some games do carry their advantages...

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Studies have found that gaming can be educational, can help to enhance problem-solving skills, coordination, and can improve attention and concentration.

They can even help to improve social skills.

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Remarkably, online gaming enables many players to engage in a game simultaneously, so gamers can both make new friends online while strengthening their relationship with existing friends.

But, with the many pros of gaming...

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Comes the many cons.

Because, while video games are a fun way to pass a bit of time for most of us...

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For others, they can become a harmful habit.

Video gaming addiction is a growing problem in our society.

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More and more people, especially children and teenagers, are finding themselves becoming addicted to gaming.

And this addiction can carry with it many health consequences.

In the short-term, avid gamers may experience disruptions to their sleeping habits, leading to fatigue, sleepiness, or insomnia.

Social skills can be affected, too.

While some online games can improve these social skills, gamers are known for isolating themselves away from other people for hours or, in some extreme cases, days at a time, leading to a decrease in regular social interaction and a potential loss of friends.

And, for the instance of this particular story...

Video games can also wind up costing a lot of money.

And Jessica Johnson discovered this the hard way.

The forty-one-year-old had the shock none of us ever want to endure when she discovered that the youngest of her 2 sons had gone on an accidental shopping spree on her iPad.

6-year-old George had been playing Sonic Forces, a Sonic the Hedgehog themed game...

And had been collecting add-on boosters, features that allow access to new characters and more speed.

However, these add-ons aren't cheap.

George's boosters varied from $1.99 red rings all the way up to $99.99 gold rings.

Of course, little George didn't understand that these add-ons cost real money...

But that didn't stop the money from being taken from his mom's account.

On July 9th, Jessica finally noticed that there were twenty-five charges totaling over $2,500.

When Jessica discovered Apple and PayPal were withdrawing hefty sums - $562 here, $601 there - from her Chase account, she assumed it was a mistake or fraud and called the bank, confused by the unitemized charges. “The way the charges get bundled made it almost impossible [to figure out that] they were from a game," she said.

Jessica then filed a fraud claim in July when her bill reached a sickening sum of $16,293.10...

Only to be told later in October that the charges were indeed hers and she needed to contact Apple.

But, upon reaching out to Apple, realization dawned on Jessica.

A member of staff was walking her through a “buried running list of all the charges" when she suddenly spotted the Sonic icon - then, she knew it was George.

And, when Jessica explained to George what had happened, he gave the most heartbreaking response:

“He said, ‘Well, I’ll pay you back, Mom.'"

But, it doesn't seem Jessica will get any money back from anyone.

As Apple has reportedly refused her a refund.

And their reason for refusal? Because she didn't call in time...

Jessica explained: “[Apple] said, ‘Tough.’ They told me that, because I didn’t call within sixty days of the charges, that they can’t do anything. The reason I didn’t call within sixty days is because Chase told me it was likely fraud - that PayPal and Apple.com are top fraud charges."

Jessica claims she received no sympathy from the customer service agent with them telling her that she should have placed parental controls on her phone...

"They’re like, ‘There’s a setting, you should have known'."

She admitted she hadn’t put preventive settings on her account because she didn’t know about them.

“Obviously, if I had known there was a setting for that, I wouldn’t have allowed my 6-year-old to run up nearly $20,000 in charges for virtual gold rings... These games are designed to be completely predatory and get kids to buy things. What grown-up would spend $100 on a chest of virtual gold coins?"

Jessica even confessed that she wouldn’t be able to pay her family’s mortgage with that kind of debt.

Especially as she hasn't been paid from her job in nearly 8 months due to the pandemic, Complex reported.

But Jessica believes the blame lies primarily with Apple.

“My son didn’t understand that the money was real. How could he? He’s playing a cartoon game in a world that he knows is not real. Why would the money be real to him? That would require a big cognitive leap."

But with no refund from Apple...

Jessica now has no choice but to pay off the debt.

And her advice to other parents?

“Check your security settings. I’m appalled that this is even possible in these games and that Apple devices are not pre-set to prevent this." Apple is yet to address the incident. For another shocking gaming-related story, keep scrolling...