Childrearing

World’s Tiniest Criminal Buys $250 Worth of Pokemon Toys With Sleeping Mom’s Thumbprint

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female hands holding phone and entering PIN code of finger

(Prykhodov/iStockPhoto)

Stories about kids, babies, and teenagers accidentally racking up hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of charges using pay apps on their parents’ phones used to happen with some regularity, but since most new phones use a Touch ID system that requires a fingerprint for confirmation before making a purchase, it’s seemed like our app-buying and online shopping habits have been pretty safe. Not long ago, however, one mother discovered that her six-year-old understands thumbprint recognition but not the concept of “shopping,” and the little girl used her sleeping mom’s thumbprint to buy $250 worth of Pokemon toys.

According to Gizmodo, Arkansas mother and very deep sleeper Bethany Howell was napping on her sofa when her six-year-old daughter, Ashlynd, came over and used her sleeping mom’s thumb to unlock the phone. Then she proceeded to go shopping on Amazon and bought herself 13 new Pokemon items.

When Howell woke up and checked her email, she found 13 order confirmations waiting for her. At first Howell thought she’d been hacked, but all the items were in her name and coming to her house. Howell thought maybe Ashlynd had done it by accident while playing on the phone, and the six-year-old said: “No Mommy, I was shopping. But don’t worry–everything that I ordered is coming straight to the house.”

Howell says she was only able to return four of the 13 items Ashlynd ordered, so they told the six-year-old that Santa had found out that Ashlynd had already picked out what she wanted for Christmas, and that was all she’d be getting.

So Ashlynd got nine Pokemon toys for Christmas, and presumably a very long talking-to about how using her mom’s phone to buy things without permission is basically the same thing as stealing $250 out of her mom’s purse.