Traveling is a joy, but boy, does it strain your pocketbook. One girl came up with a brilliant idea to fund her dream vacation, though — write this down: this 9-year-old booked a trip to Disneyland Paris after guessing the password to her dad's PayPal account while he slept, and ended up spending over $1,300 of his hard earned cash, reports MailOnline.
Innocent Ian Wilson, 53 and living in Immingham, Lincolnshire, was sleeping like a little lamb when his daughter Susan snatched his cell phone and went HAM on travel plans. She didn't look for budget buys and book affordable Airbnbs, either. Oh no. Around $520 went to flights and a hotel gift card; $280 went to a VIP (naturally) tour of the Eiffel Tower; and $500 went to theme park tickets and to cover the cost of the Disneyland Express train — scheduled to depart the next day. You have to give her credit: the girl knows how to plan a killer getaway. It wasn't until three days later when Wilson saw the hefty tab in his PayPal account and most likely freaked the heck out, I'm guessing.
And to think most kids want smartphones to play Candy Crush and take selfies.
Like any normal human, Wilson thought someone had hacked into his account and stolen from him, since it's something that happens to people every day all around the world; but upon speaking with PayPal and claiming fraud, he found out that wasn't the case, as they looked into the device the purchases were made from, and deemed it totally normal. He told MailOnline, "That's when I went through my phone history and found all these websites in my internet history. I asked Susan and she said it was her." Never forget, Susan: always delete your history.
When Wilson learned his daughter had robbed him blind (kidding), instead of giving her a stern talking to, he totally let it slide. Why? Because she said she hadn't even realized what she'd done. "She was absolutely brokenhearted and very remorseful," he told MailOnline. I mean, who wouldn't be, after dope reservations like that just fell through. He added that little Susan claimed she didn't know how she'd booked the trip, or even what the Eiffel Tower is. What was just playtime on her daddy's phone unintentionally turned into one extreme shopping spree. And a really exciting, adventurous one, at that. Clearly, she was looking for Candy Crush and got confused. It happens to the best of us.
Wilson contacted the companies she spent money with, the bank, and PayPal; but no one would give him his money back initially since the purchases appeared legitimate. Eventually, PayPal thankfully refunded him, classifying the situation as a "friendly fraud" — something that happens quite often, likely by other small children around the world taking their parents' phones and booking next-day trips to Paris.
Verifi explains that friendly fraud happens when a "customer makes a purchase online for a product or service with their credit card and then contacts their credit card issuer to dispute the charge." It's been a growing problem with the rise of online shopping, which sweet Susan clearly knows all about. So, Wilson's case was friendly fraud... sort of. The customer was a 9-year-old, and the purchase wasn't intentional. But he got his money back, so do the details really matter? (No.)
At the end of the day, all ended well, no harm done, and Wilson learned an important, $1,300 lesson he'll probably never forget: "Have a pin on your phone." Well said, sir. Well said. Maybe he'll take Susan on that trip one day.