A user on TikTok has gone viral after claiming that her child inadvertently spent over $800 on Roblox using an Apple device.
According to TikTok user Linzy (@thelinzytaylor), her child plays the game Roblox using an Apple device. Linzy had previously restricted her child’s ability to purchase items in the game by requiring a password to make purchases.
Linzy says she only inputted the password for the occasional purchase, and that the child did not know the password.
However, Linzy says that her child figured out a way to circumvent the password system by clicking an option to say he forgot his password, then verifying the account with a connected iPhone. Through this process, the 10-year-old was able to charge over $800 to Linzy’s PayPal account.
@thelinzytaylor @apple @roblox #apple #roblox #familysharing #thisisnotokay #asd #autismacceptance #thelinzytaylor ♬ original sound – Linzy Taylor
Linzy says she is currently in the process of trying to get a refund but will not know if she actually gets one until up to 30 days after the incident.
While Linzy acknowledges in follow-up videos that she has responsibility in this situation, she also notes that there should be more efforts made on the part of Apple to resolve this issue.
“What I don’t understand is how it wasn’t a flag in Apple’s system,” she explains. “How can you just hit ‘Forgot Password’ to spend $100 multiple times in a row, and they just allow that? That doesn’t make sense to me. That seems more like a security red flag.”
“Not to mention, my son is autistic,” she adds later in the video. “That does not excuse his behavior, but it does explain why he thought it was not going to affect anyone, and why he thought it was going to be okay — because he doesn’t understand money, how it’s made, where it comes from, [and] how long it takes to make something like $800.”
“He just found a way for it to work and just kept pressing the buttons,” Linzy summarizes.
Linzy added more information in a later video, saying that she had made an effort to explain the value of money to her child.
@thelinzytaylor Replying to @brokenhazeleyes What would you do? #consequence #vlog #parenting #autismacceptance #asd #apple #roblox #familysharing ♬ original sound – Linzy Taylor
“He knew what he did was wrong, because he said that he knew I wouldn’t have gifted him that much money in Roblox,” she says in this video. “What he didn’t understand was that the money was coming from my food and bill account.”
While she notes that her son’s autism is not an excuse for his behavior, she says there are certain topics, like money, that her son has trouble understanding. Linzy details that the family has been working on understanding those issues together.
Throughout several follow-up videos, Linzy explains that she has been working with Apple to resolve the issue, though her son will likely have his Roblox account deleted (something Linzy tried to avoid). That said, she continued to question why she did not receive a notification or query about these purchases as they were happening via Apple’s Family Sharing plan, of which she is the owner.
In the most recent update, Linzy thanks viewers for their support and shares other options she’s enabled with help from Apple to prevent this from happening again in the future.
@thelinzytaylor Replying to @labfetisesh UPDATE on the Apple / Roblox situation #update #thelinzytaylor #apple #roblox #asd ♬ original sound – Linzy Taylor
In summary, she turned on Apple’s “Ask to Buy” feature, which requires the owner of the Family Sharing plan to approve any purchase made by others on the plan.
She also states that Apple told her the “Forgot Password” workaround has not always worked, though she does not say whether Apple planned to resolve this issue in the future.
“Apple apologized to me and told me that this wasn’t my fault and that this happens sometimes,” she says. “They also told me that the ‘forgot password’ bypass feature hasn’t always been there.”
In response to some users who said that her son should be harshly punished for what he did, Linzy explains that her son suffers from a variety of medical issues that make his life difficult and frequently keep him quarantined in his home. As a result, Linzy says that she takes a considered approach to parenting that some commenters may not understand.
That isn’t to say that the son won’t face punishment, however.
In addition to restricting his screen time, restricting her son’s ability to change his passwords and account information, and taking away his iPad throughout most of the day, Linzy says her child will have to “work off that $800, even if it takes him a long time.”
“Little by little, he’s going to learn the value of a dollar, because he’s going to have to earn that $800 back dollar by dollar,” Linzy concludes.
In the comments section, users shared their thoughts on the situation, with some offering similar stories.
“My daughter ordered 100 pounds of blue corn flour and 6 dozen pink roses once just asking Alexa what her favorite color flower was,” recalled a user. “I got it fixed…You aren’t alone and he shouldn’t be able to bypass the password. PERIOD.”
“My daughter spent 165 dollars last year with her phone b4 I realized it,” recounted another.
“The only lesson here is that our children, no matter their mental status need to be shown the value of money at a young age,” summarized an additional commenter.
The Daily Dot reached out to Linzy and Apple via email.
Update 1:20pm CT March 27: In an email to Daily Dot, Linzy added further detail to her story. Her son, Lucas, has “Post Bone Marrow Transplant Evans Syndrome,” which he developed after getting a bone marrow transplant to resolve a “genetic blood disorder called Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD).” There is no cure for this new condition.
“We have lived in and out of quarantine, mostly in, for the past five and a half years. We live this way to keep him safe,” Linzy wrote. “Because of this, we tend to parent him differently.”
As for the Roblox purchases, Linzy said Apple and Roblox should have systems in place to prevent such a thing from happening.
“…It’s far too easy to change the password,” she stated. “Why would Apple or Roblox allow that to happen consecutively? Anyone could have someone’s 4-digit pin and do this on any Apple device. It wasn’t always that easy to change an Apple ID password.”
Linzy continued by saying she is still pursuing a refund. She also noted that Lucas will be paying off his debt through work while she makes an effort to convey the meaning of money to him.
“We parent our son alternatively because of what he’s been through,” she detailed. “I like to think of myself as a gentle parent, [but] that doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants. We have an autism art sticker shop and he can help me with some sticker orders; there’s weeds to pull outside; there’s always laundry to fold, and he can help me with his non-speaking autistic brother.”
“I tried to explain to Lucas what the value of money is, how hard it is to get, and how long it takes to make. He didn’t fully understand. He also didn’t know where the money was coming from. He knew it was wrong, but did it anyway because it was working. Kids will be kids,” Linzy added. “I expressed to Lucas that $800 is equal to 28 Neca action figures priced at $29.99, and I asked him how many of those he gets for Christmas. He said maybe five. I said, ‘that’s more than five Christmases worth of action figures.’ His eyes popped open at that. Then I explained to him that I don’t even make that much per month in my business most of the time.”
“Lucas agreed to do 60 hours of chores with me over the next 20 weeks,” she continued. “Three hours per week, at about $13.33 an hour, until he reaches $800. Hopefully this will teach him respect, as well as the value of a dollar.”
All this said, Linzy explained that she wishes there were more roadblocks in place to prevent this from happening altogether.
“…It should not be that easy to change an Apple ID password,” she said of Apple. “They should also not allow $99 consecutive payments with password changes each time!”