Teenager using my bank details (again)(21 Posts)
Would really welcome some advice - in a bad place !
My 16yr old son ran up some PayPal debts in the summer using my card (which I did not agree to) and spent almost £200 before I spotted it. Only check my account couple of times a month, no need for more often usually. PayPal closed his account and he was sorry but it wasn't his fault as he didn't realise (!) the money was coming from my account not his. Didn't really buy that as there is no way he has that much in his child's account. But, he generally got a very stiff warning that if there were ever a next time then I would have to involve police as this was the only way I could hope to recover any money. I changed my bank card number. So, fast forward to today when I noticed 4 transactions over this last week, PayPal again. Not my transactions. Phoned PayPal and he seems to have opened a new account with my new bank card number. Again, it's been blocked. But what the heck do I do ?? Do I report this to police ? It's almost £100. Obviously the tears and promises meant nothing last time. Options I can think of:
Send him to live with his dad for a while -but it's no where near his school so that'll be very disruptive but I'm not sure I can trust him any longer tbh
Take all gadgets away, perhaps sell xbox to recoup some money
Report it to police -but will that leave him with a record that'll tar any future career, or am being too soft ?
I probably have been too soft but this breaks my heart.
Any advice welcome. Thanks
That's awful and a massive breach of your trust. I was going to suggest changing your card but it's been done once already.
Have you asked him why he did it again? He's very nearly an adult, you can't accept the tears and I won't do it again promises this time.
As he's underage I'd be tempted to get some advice from the police and see what they suggest. It might well be that he needs the shock of you taking action or you could end up having to put up with him stealing from you again and again.
I'd want to know why though. He's old enough to get a job if he needs money.
Sell his stuff to recover the money.
Change the wi fi password so he can only access Internet with your supervision.
Make it clear all trust is lost, no more being at home on his own, no more treats.
Make it clear that this is last chance saloon. I don't know if a community police officer would come talk to your son but worth asking?
So your mistake was threatening him with the police if he did it again - if you don't intend to follow it through.
In your case I would call the police and get them to give him a good talking to and scare the bejesus out of him.
Then I would take one of his gadgets and tell him he can either sell it to give you the money back or he finds a way to pay you back (part time job/extreme chores) and his gadget will be returned when he has done so.
Upshot is as a second offence you need to come down very hard.
You also need to find out what the hell he is spending this money on. There could be an underlying issue here.
How on earth did he get your new card? What was he buying?
Clearly he knew it was your account so he's lying, he's stealing and he doesn't give a damn about it.
Definitely sell his Xbox for a start and yes, I would report it to the police- he didn't learn last time and maybe a short, sharp shock will sort him out.
You don't trust him so I'd certainly consider sending him to live with his father, there's nothing to say that there won't be yet another episode with more pathetic excuses.
You told him next time you would have to involve the police, so I think that's what you need to do. I would hope the police would be understanding and come and give him a bloody good bollocking rather than go for prosecution but this behaviour needs to be stopped before it escalates.
I would talk to the police about the options. I understand why you're afraid that a criminal record could do more harm than good but he really needs the fear.
That said, how did he do it? I can imagine it would be easy enough for him to sneak the card out of your purse to set up the account, but is it not enrolled in 3D Secure? I'm not quite sure what you're doing when you associate a bank card (or actually a bank account?) with Paypal but I'm surprised there's not some additional verification step.
I would advise against getting him to do chores to make up the money. The onus will end up being on you to remind him / nag him / quality control.
Sell his stuff to make up the cost, and change wi-fi code as suggested.
Definitely follow through with last threat and contact police and ask for them to warn him. They don't have to arrest him.
Your son is a thief and this was a premeditated series of thefts. He knew exactly what he was doing and even went to the trouble of finding your new card details.
Your not going to report the crime and criminalise your son and I understand why but there have to be some real and hard hitting consequences for his actions. Selling his xbox to recoup some of the money seems fair as does changing the WiFi code. Maybe some time with his father might be a good idea.
You do need to follow through re the police OP - can you get a community support officer or equivalent round to have a chat with him?
And yes to changing the WiFi code, increasing card security and selling his gaming console. I'd be having a conversation with him to the effect that what he's done is fraud.
Can you also set up an alert with your bank to contact you if there are any PayPal transactions?
Thank you so much for your suggestions. Makes me feel a whole heap better about taking some action. It's really hard to think of my own son as a thief, really hard. As far as I can work out it has gone on gaming but there is one transaction to one of his friends (the clue was in the PayPal name - durr - I can't believe he thinks he'll get away with it !) at the weekend. Is this blatant nature of the thefts a worry ? I will contact police and see if someone can come and speak with him. What really pains me is that i am a single mum and I've bought him up single handed for 12 years and he gets money for things if he asks (within my finances) and this is a complete lack of respect isn't it. His (older) sister is equally aghast. Sorry for the ramble it is helping to get it all out !
Yep your son a thief. You threatened the police, so the police it has to be. Ensure you recoup the cash from him. Every penny. Make him sell his stuff.
Bank is pretty useless but I'll ask about alerts - must be possible in this day and age ! They can't block PayPal transactions apparently.
Not an excuse, but is there a gaming addiction at play here?
From the bank's pov it is your responsibility to keep your card and details safe.
I wouldn't say to him "I would have to involve police as this was the only way I could hope to recover any money." because that implies that PayPal will recompense you for money that he has spent. Why should they? It isn't their fault and no-one should be picking up the tab for the expense except your son. Tell him you are involving the police because what he is doing is theft and fraud.
I don't understand how he got hold of your card again to not only set up another PayPal account, but to also access your bank for the verifying process. This was iirc either via the cash point or online banking.
Last time I used Paypal, it only allowed you to add bank details/credit card to one account at a time. So the easiest way to stop him doing this again is to create a new Paypal account and attach your bank account details to it. Then if he tries this again he should just get an error message telling him that account is already in use with another Paypal account.
Take his stuff and put it in the boot of your car and take to a friend's house till you can sell it. If he takes your bank card he will find a way to take back his stuff if you have it in the house.
It's a really shitty thing he's done
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