Teenager Spends Nearly $20,000 In Twitch Donations Using Mother's Debit Card

A teenage Twitch viewer spent an absurd about of cash on donations to various streamers before his mother discovered what happened.

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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.

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FanboyMan

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“Thanks for the $5,000 donation NoobTeabagger69!“

(Red flags, won’t see that money)

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Antihero1939

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Isn't that old news ?

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Wartotehlock

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I've lost even more respect for Streamers lol.. taking kid's mom's money! I'm being petty but yeah I don't like Streamers

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nintendians

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just don't store your credit card information, thing like this happen for some reason.

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FanboyMan

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Edited By FanboyMan

@nintendians: good advice, some parents don’t understand they can set up accounts for kids without using an active card.

I only use prepaid cards when setting up non-subscription accounts, and I don’t even have kids.

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nintendians

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@fanboyman: yeah, just don't save, if it ask you to save it for later use.

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EvilTyger

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I get that putting in credit card info every time you want to do something is a pain...

But parenting isn't always easy.

Don't click 'save info' with kids in the house.

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tsunami2311

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Edited By tsunami2311

stop give your kid access to your credit card will be great start for parents to do.

And microtransactions are aim at kids too hoping they can get there parents CC to do them and obviously parents are stupid enough to just give the card to them

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ClunkerSlim

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Come on. We all know this is how Twitch makes most of it's money.

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BDRTFM

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What the hell credit card was this kid using? I remember a friend of mine years back who bought his kid something from Sony on his PlayStation using a CC and later his kid started ordering skins and stuff for a game, not having a clue he was being charged for them. After about $400 or so, his father got a call from the CC company about suspicious activity on his card. How this kid managed to spend $20,000 on Twitch without it triggering the CC company is very odd. Is this a US thing or what? I get calls from my CC company here in Canada any time the card is flagged for unusual activity as the software learns your purchasing habits.

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ReturnoftheBrotha

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@bdrtfm: Maybe he was rich and $20K raised no flags?

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BDRTFM

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@returnofthebrotha: Wouldn't matter with the right detection software. Its not just how much you spend or normally spend, its what you spend it on, when and how often. If you've never donated money to a certain thing in your life and you suddenly start making multiple donations over a short period of time to the tune of $20,000 someone should notice. If someone stole my CC and started buying women's clothing in expensive clothing stores when I never use my CC for women's clothing, I would refuse to pay. That's what CC insurance is for. It makes them responsible and makes them work very hard to stop fraud.

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ChipOreo

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@bdrtfm: Some debit cards/bank cards don't notify you of unusual activity unless specified to do so, I know mine didn't until I set a spend limit. Though, every Credit Card I own does have Auto-Notify.

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tlpina

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This kid is either "Special" or in desperate need of a beating.

When I was a kid, i once got caught by my dad for sneaking into an Arcade to play Golden Axe after he gave me strict orders to stay away from the place because it was a know drug dealing spot in the neighborhood.

Took a beating of a lifetime that day and learned 3 things.

1 - My dad was not kidding. About 10 kids were arrested with drug on that very spot on Saturday that very same week.

2 - My dad can hit HARD. It felt like I was getting hit by 8 arms.

3 - I'm not made out of Glass. After that day, i had no fear of any other kid in the neighborhood.

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Rekonym

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@tlpina: Those were other times. Same with me, grew up in the 90s, my dad could be very harsh with disobedience on my part (for my security, and me acting indifferent about that as the kid I was). He didn't think twice to give me lessons, usually by voice (I.E. yelling through his soul at me enough to hurt my ears), and about two times by grabbing me by the collar and throwing me in my bedroom so hard it made things fall off my desk when I hit it at around Mach 5.

"Now stay there and don't you dare leave until I say so!!!" He'd then yell and slam the door back on his way out of my room (the door itself probably lost some structural integrity in the process). The first time he did that I thought I was gonna die, might have been around 8 or 9 years-old. It's the one time I remember the most.

And this is nothing, for those reading this thinking it's horrible. It's not. If you knew what my father had to endure from his own father you'd understand we live in a completely different world today when it comes to raising kids and teaching them lessons.

Nowadays it's the world of the Millennials. If you dare just look at your kid the wrong way for 2 seconds and you're spotted doing it, you're automatically a monster of a parent and need to be put in jail. Today kids can do whatever they want and if they shed a single tear everyone is ready to defend them even if they actually did something wrong.

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Keaze_

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@rekonym: This thread turned to a pretty weird psychology session

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Naija

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Edited By Naija

The ultimate of stupidity. Giving money to streamers who make more money in a single day than their parents make in a year -- all because they believe they "deserve" it. Of course, it's never their OWN money that they're donating. These streamers have all sorts of deals going, with sponsors, with ad revenue but they're always crying poverty while they drive around in luxury cars and live in outlandish condos.

Glad that this mother was able to recover her money but she really needs to get counseling for her son who's too dumb to think for himself. I would place the blame on her but I suspect this is totally on him.

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

Luckily, or unluckily we were way too poor to afford video games growing up. I was a grown ass man, who worked two jobs, paid my way through a bachelors degree in college, and just starting my career, with the thought of marriage soon. When a buddy said, hey want to go to Babbage's there is some new games coming out.

With a few paychecks in my pocket, I thought, yeah a basketball game would be cool to try. They didn't really have anything I liked so I ask the clerk, 'give me a few of your best games'. He handed me Suikoden, Wild Arms, and Final Fantasy 7 (that had just come out) and some guides and said in Morpheus' voice, "these will open your eyes". I said, "Are these like, arcade fighting games??". He said, '....ehh yeah sure, GTF out'.

Life went down hill after that, fun entertaining life though.

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Rolento25

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Damn Gamespot, this was "news" about 2 months ago. Must be hard times trying to come up with something.

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xNSHD

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Edited By xNSHD

this is why the whole donate shouldn't be a thing, im sorry Mr Streamer but if you need donations (Ebegging) to keep going then you need to find another job, thats if you call streaming a job. lets be honest all streaming is, is someone sitting on their ass and playing games.

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Rekonym

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Edited By Rekonym

@xnshd: I tried to explain the concept to my father, he's not savvy with tech, Internet, games or social media in general. He's 70 years-old today.

He said: "So it's social aid?"

The only thing I could answer to that was: "Well... yeah actually it sort of is".

He shook his head and said that's why kids today don't want to work, cause they don't need to look for it anymore. They receive donations by sitting on their ass and play games, or whatever it is they do home on Stream. And they live off of that even if it's small change. Don't want to pursue a better life, they're just content with surviving off of donations.

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Terrorantula

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I remember running up a £700 phone bill chatting to a girl every night when I was 14. My dad best the crap out of me and I had to live with my Friend for months. I never went back or to school, and I was homeless for years after. So don’t do it kids as it could ruin your life.

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SkyHighGam3r

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...K but the kid is a teenager.
Not a toddler with a parent who didn't lock the app-store payments.
No teenager 'doesnt' know how a credit card works lol

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jenovaschilld

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@skyhighgam3r: Yeah, there is blame to go around for sure and for the parents as well.

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Goldenageplayer

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Moderation my guy.

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Tidus1012

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Twitch donations? Really? Life will destroy this moron.

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Strendewolf

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as a kid i managed to buy one year of 120$ sub of world of warcraft whit my dads credit card, never seen him unsheath his belt that fast

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Goldenageplayer

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@strendewolf: lol I got similar stories. Earn your stuff folks. Don't be a sneaky lil weasel in life lol.

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Sorugue

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Edited By Sorugue

Dude if I got an F on a test I had my controllers taken away for the rest of the marking period (borrowed a friends in secret, but that's besides the point lol). Had I blown 20k on something (twitch was about 20 years off) I'd likely not be alive today.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@Sorugue: My parents used to take the power cord. Worked with the N64, lol not so much the Dreamcast, PS2, or XBOX. They all used the same cable as my alarm clock hahaha

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ad1x2

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Yeah, if my mother punished me in 2020 the way she would have punished me in 1992 for spending even a fraction of that amount without her consent chances are she would go to jail.

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ToadstoolPeach

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Edited By ToadstoolPeach

Oh noes, not limited game time! Cruel and unusual punishment these days. Pro parenting.

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Non-Scorer

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@ToadstoolPeach: With my job, I'm lucky if I can squeeze in an hour a WEEK sometimes. Literally. I'd kill for this punishment.

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Cikatriz_ESP

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I didn’t see a name, but I’m assuming this is Cartman’s mom?

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RestatBonfire

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Hahaha I hope he does it again. I took 20 bucks from my mom to buy runescape membership when I was like 13. Made me go outside and pick my own switch to get hit with. Never forget.

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ghost140

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This is what happens when some parents turn over their duties to TV/internet. Not only are they doing that they are also giving kids access their bank accounts or giving them credit cards.

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Xero_Kaiser

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All that and he was only reduced to an hour of gaming a day? No wonder he's so bold.

Couldn't be me. He'd never be allowed make physical contact with another electronic item again. No Xbox, no phones, no PC, no microwaves, no electric toothbrushes, no toasters, no vacuum cleaners. Nothing.

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IcyBlaze_XZ

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must be nice to have $20k just chilling in your checking account like that

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subsided94

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Edited By subsided94

Shouldn't get it back, a parent should actually make sure their children are making responsible decisions not to mention monitor your dang credit card. It's so dumb parental neglect is always rewarded, and he's a teenager not some 5 year old,.needs to be genuine consequences

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Barighm

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@subsided94: I don't understand how these kids are getting credit cards, or why the banks aren't identifying the suspicious activity. You can issue credit cards with low limits for emergencies, and when my sister spent like $100 buying art supplies, the bank immediately shut down the card. Surely $20k in gaming expenses looks suspicious.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@Barighm: I've wondered this too, how is 20,000$ to Twitch not an immediate red flag lol

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nedrith

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Edited By nedrith

@Barighm: Agreed. I have my debit card setup so that if any purchase made for it exceeds a certain amount, I get a text message. Have it set low enough that I get quite a few messages.

Edit: I will note there is a bit more to this. According to https://dotesports.com/streaming/news/teenager-allegedly-spends-20000-of-parents-money-on-twitch-donations-without-them-knowing the kid was given a debit card by his mother with a low balance to pay for certain things such as school lunches. He apparently found her banking password and used it to transfer money to his account. Might explain why the bank didn't think anything was strange.

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idakooz

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@Barighm: It's a stupid parent who spoils their kid. You can easily go into your bank account online and set limits on your cards. But yeah, what bank is this that doesn't send out alerts or at least freeze the card while seeing large transactions within two weeks that total almost $20k?

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s1taz4a3l

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@Barighm: Yea, i cant even pay 3 bills in a row without my bank forcing me to do a security check to know its me, even tho those are the same bills i have paid for years..

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