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Shall I contact the parents of a gamer/YouTuber who is ripping off other teens/ kids?

(23 Posts)
Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 06:47:46

My DS aged 13 is a gamer & YouTuber. He does minecraft videos etc. They all have animated 'intros' to their videos which they either make themselves if buy off other gamers.
Last year DS was in contact with another teen gamer ( age 14) who does intros and has a 'shopfront' selling them ( as well as graphic thumbnails etc).
DS sent him a 'brief' of what he wanted in the animation and the guy replied, saying that it was all fine etc and sent DS some examples of other intros he'd done ( which looked good).
It all looked OK so I let DS use my PayPal account to order this intro and pay 25 USD (about £17) which he was going to pay me back from his pocket money.
That was about two months ago and the animation guy hasn't sent anything and won't reply to online or Skype messages from DS. angry
I had his direct email ( from PayPal) so last week sent him a formal-ish email ( from me) saying that since he hadn't produced the animation could he please refund my payment. No reply.
DS says he knows this teen is around as he can see him gaming online/posting videos and tweeting.
We could just write this off as a lesson learned, but if he is doing this to lots of kids then he could be fraudulently raking in hundreds of dollars.
He has quite an unusual name, and after about two minutes googling yesterday I easily found his home address and his and his parents Facebook pages, as well as his parents jobs ( LinkedIn). They look like decent, sensible professional folk. Do you think I should Facebook message them and let them know what's going on? Or would that just be weird?
If my son was 'stealing' I think I'd want to know?

Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 06:51:00

Sorry - just spotted the crap title! It should be 'should I contact' ( not shall). Damn autocorrect....!

Moving15 Sat 02-Jan-16 06:54:14

Can't you just open a dispute on PayPal?

Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 06:59:56

Yes - I can open a dispute on PayPal and i might get the money back. However that's unlikely to address this kid's underlying behaviour. if I contacted his parents first it might give then a chance to intervene and talk to him about what he's been doing.

cranberryx Sat 02-Jan-16 07:03:52

I would personally contact the parents and send the written agreement of work to them and ask for their son to provide the work promised or your money back.

Also, tell them that you plan on contacting their local police via email if this isn't sorted out as it is clearly an online scam. Even if you don't do it, it might be enough to make them take action! And dot their DS from being dishonest!

If this boy is doing lots of intros is could take time, but he should clearly inform his customers of timescales. An intro should take max 3 days, if you only work on it an hour an evening.

WildStallions Sat 02-Jan-16 07:12:45

PayPal will give you your money back. Do that first.

Can your son post negative reviews of this guy on appropriate websites?

I think an email to his parents saying is X your son? But not saying what's gone wrong would be ok. Then if they reply you know they're open to discussion about their son.

WhirlwindHugs Sat 02-Jan-16 07:14:46

I would be tempted to contact them. I wouldn't want to give them my address or phone number if I could help it though...

Is money changing hands usual for vidding? In fandoms people will often do creative things like this for each other free (just because they are friends) or as a skill swap. I'd be wary of anyone who wanted money.

Maybe I am out of date though.

ChubbyPolecat Sat 02-Jan-16 07:15:33

I'd do both, get your money back first and then contact his parents

WhirlwindHugs Sat 02-Jan-16 07:18:49

Yes, definitely start the paypal refund first.

Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 07:23:50

Whirlwind - there is a bit of both - free fandom and paid vids. DS has just reached 1000 subs so wanted to up his game a bit and get a more professional intro, hence was willing to pay.

Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 07:27:46

How should I phrase an initial message to his parents without it sounding creepy? What would you respond to?

LynetteScavo Sat 02-Jan-16 08:28:05

I would claim back through PayPal then message parents staying the facts....

Dear X

On (date) my son purchased x from your so (name). Unfortunately your son has not honoured the agreement and has failed to provided my son with.......etc

JE1234 Sat 02-Jan-16 08:32:54

I would send them a copy of the formal contact you sent to their son with a covering note saying that as he hasn't responded you thought they should be aware of his behaviour.

Farahilda Sat 02-Jan-16 08:45:47

not just aware of his behaviour in terms of what he is selling (or not) but also his lack of security which has made it possible for you to track them down so easily.

Travelledtheworld Sat 02-Jan-16 11:32:04

Yes you should contact his parents because they need to be aware of what their son is doing online. if the kid is bright enough to run this kind of scam it could easily escalate into major fraud, cyber crime etc.
Better his parents clamp down on him now than it be brought to the attention of his school, local police etc. If he is in the USA this could be dealt with quite severely.

Pebbles574 Sat 02-Jan-16 15:09:24

OK - yikes - I have just messaged them on Facebook, but how likely are they to see a Facebook message if I'm not connected to them - don't those messages go to a different place or something?

I might give it a day or two and then send a message to their work addresses too if I haven't heard anything.

PrincePondicherry Sat 02-Jan-16 15:21:35

I like lynettes wording.

SirChenjin Sat 02-Jan-16 15:24:44

I'd do both - Paypal and then contact the parents to advise them that I'd raised a PP dispute as a result of their son's actions. As a parent I'd want to know if my child had done anything like this, definitely - Paypal would be the least of his worries.

Pebbles574 Wed 06-Jan-16 18:08:10

Quick update....

Well, I guess I've learnt that lots of parents don't give a flying f**k what their kids get up to sad.

I opened a Paypal dispute (not a claim yet) and then emailed his mum with a polite message, as per discussed earlier.
I didn't get a reply from her, however later I got an email from the boy just saying he was going to try to refund the money, but that his Paypal account had a negative balance as people were reverse charging their payments. He then said could I cancel my Paypal claim and he would pay me back soon (yeah, right...)

I just replied and said, no, I wasn't cancelling my claim, and could I suggest he try to get some help from his parents, or another adult, to sort this out. I gave a week to refund the cash before I escalate it to a Paypal claim.

I suspect he must have been prompted by his mum to contact me, but that she's not replying directly.

But then he was posting on twitter later complaining about the fact that someone had emailed his mum!

Moving15 Wed 06-Jan-16 22:29:21

Well done. I would leave it up to PayPal to sort out now. It's a good lesson for him anyway!

Travelledtheworld Fri 08-Jan-16 06:03:43

He has probably accessrd his Mums emails and is seeing them before she does !
Well done keep,pushing.

cdtaylornats Fri 08-Jan-16 10:50:55

If he is in the US you would need to contact the FBI as this sort of crime is their jurisdiction.

Pebbles574 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:10:31

OK - a final update - I think it's all sorted.

I received an email from his mum and a refund from her Paypal account.
She was really apologetic and thanked me for contacting her and being 'so understanding'.
Hopefully that's the end of it (unless she later reverses her payment!)

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