An elderly couple have been left with their savings decimated after their granddaughter spent thousand of pounds on the Roblox game.
Liz and Jim Harrison, from Alloa in Scotland, thought their account had been hacked when they noticed that £3,000 had gone missing, but have since learned what really happened - their eight-year-old granddaughter had been making purchases on the game while in lockdown.
They've now slammed Roblox for making it so easy for children to buy things without getting permission from those who are then forced to bear the cost.
The pair allowed Abby to get the game - which is massively popular amongst younger children - to stop her from being bored, but once they eventually set up an online banking account, they assumed they'd fallen victim to scammers.
They hadn't. It was someone much closer to home.
The game - which allows user to build their own games, and play those made by others - is free to download, but then encourages people to make in-game purchases of virtual currency called Robux.
It's got about 100 million players worldwide, many of whom are children.
What appears to have happened in this case is that the payment settings weren't configured correctly, meaning that young Abby was able to buy as many Robux as she wanted.
Sixty-seven-year-old Liz told The Daily Record that Abby had been spending as much as £500 per day on the game.
She explained: "We got a huge shock when we saw the amount that had gone from our account - we initially feared we'd been the victims of scammers.
"It was only when we looked into the payments in detail that we saw lots of different and unusual amounts going out.
"We spotted they were all to Roblox and asked Abby - she's only young and had no idea what's going on and said she'd kept buying things to use in the games.
"She didn't realise the money was real and we didn't realise the money was being spent until we set up online banking for the first time a few weeks ago."
She continued: "We would have paid far closer attention to what she was doing if we'd thought we'd potentially be paying for things.
"We can't understand why we weren't alerted to payments being made - surely Roblox would have checked for authorisation before taking all our money.
"It left us with nothing."
The Harrisons are now seeking help through Citizen's Advice, and have spoken with Roblox, and their bank, Halifax.
A spokesperson for Roblox said: "We strive to prevent unauthorised purchases by taking measures such as not storing full billing information on the platform and work directly with guardians and parents to provide appropriate refunds whenever possible, as we are doing in this case.
"We are in contact with the customer to establish the necessary information for processing the refund."
This is far from the first instance of its kind. Just last week a mum found her eight-year-old daughter had racked up £300 on the game.
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