When I was a kid, my parents knew a lot more about technology than I did. But for kids nowadays – it’s pretty much the opposite. Sounds like a plot for Stranger Things or Black Mirror, right? Reality is such a weird, weird thing.
Which brings us to today’s story, courtesy of VT. As a child, there’s no way I could have accessed my parent’s finances, especially not in the way that 9-year-old Susan did back in October. Back when I was a child, you had to go to the bank all by yourself just to check on your balance.
But back to the story. It was too late when Susan’s father discovered that his daughter had guessed the password to his PayPal account while he slept. Why too late, you ask? Because just by ‘playing on his phone’ she managed to book a trip for herself – for one person – all the way from England to Disneyland, Paris.
The Wilsons – with daughter Susan bottom left.
The name of the impressive girl’s gather is Ian Wilson, and he lives in Immingham, Lincolnshire. Aged 53, he is a welding inspector by trade and lives with his partner Tracey and their three sweet children (pictured above).
So one day Mr. Wilson fell asleep, and his youngest child Susan snuck off with his phone in hand – which he didn’t find out about until three days later on October 27. Rather than take their usual family holiday to Skegness, Susan had booked a trip to another country.
Eventually, Ian discovered that £1,005.92 had disappeared from his bank account and contacted PayPal to find out what was going on. Imagine his surprise when they told him the payments were made from his phone? So, naturally, PayPal didn’t consider it fraud, because they believed he, himself, booked a trip to Disneyland.
For one person. Is it just me, or is it a little odd for 53-olds to be booking trips to Disneyland?
But Mr. Wilson didn’t, and his fatherly alarm bells went off. “That’s when I went through my phone history and found all these websites in my internet history,” Ian said, “I asked Susan and she said it was her.” Mystery solved.
Ah, who wouldn’t!
Susan, the nine-year-old Disney fan had spent £400 on flights and a hotel gift card, and a £214.08 VIP trip up the Eiffel Tower. She also bought theme park tickets amounting to £381.84, including a ride on the Disneyland Express train due to leave the very next day.
In her defense, daughter Susan claimed that she had no idea how she booked the trip. Instead, she simply likes playing on her father’s phone. According to her, she doesn’t even know what the Eiffel Tower is.
“She was absolutely brokenhearted and very remorseful. She had no idea what she was doing, I could not even punish her for it,” Ian said.
Following the events, Mr. Wilson tried to get a refund but was initially rejected as technically no fraud had been committed. But after explaining the issue to the PayPal officials, he struck gold. PayPal reimbursed the money to an “elated” Ian, who was told they called incidents like this “friendly fraud.”
Apparently, it happens more than we might think. It’s not just Ian’s click-happy daughter – it’s many children with many smartphones belonging to mum and dad!
Finally, Mr. Wilson urged parents to make sure their kids can’t access their internet devices. “Have a pin on your phone. I didn’t because I’ve never needed one but I do now,” he said.
But the million-dollar question remains unanswered – just how much did Susan know about what she was doing? She either stumbled across something by accident, rather unbelievably, or – she is an evil genius in the making.
Well, the good news is, Disneyland isn’t going anywhere soon!