The little girl purchased $250 worth of Pokémon toys before her mom woke up.
I often let my kids play with my iPhone, but after hearing about a 6-year-old who learned just a bit too much about how to work the device, I'm basically never allowing them on there again.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Ashlynd Howell of Little Rock, Arkansas was able to purchase $250 worth of Pokémon items on Amazon using her mom Bethany's phone, while the mama was napping. How did Ashlynd pull off her mini-caper, despite the phone being locked, you ask? Oh, well, Ashlynd simply used her sleeping mom's thumb print to buy "all her Christmas presents."
When the parents later discovered "13 order confirmations for Pokémon items," they at first thought they had been hacked, according to The Huffington Post. That is until little Ashlynd 'fessed up. As Howell said, her daughter was "really proud of herself." Ashlynd apparently also informed her mom innocently, "I was shopping."
While it's easy to see how a 6-year-old wouldn't think much of ringing up a bill for $250, and might even view her holiday purchases as a good deed, the Howells were only able to return four of the items, according to USA Today. Ouch!
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I can only imagine that little Ashlynd's parents had a good talk with her about why shopping online by herself can actually never happen again, or at least until she has her own job. But this story indeed serves as an important reminder for parents, like me, that kids are getting savvier with technology, and we need to be super-aware of what our little ones are doing online, at all times. I mean, what if Ashlynd had purchased $2,500 worth of products instead?
Did I mention I'm hiding my phone from my kids indefinitely?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.