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15 yo buying expensive computer with stolen cc

(16 Posts)
OhNoArgh Tue 20-Dec-16 09:15:12

It looks like my DS has purchased an expensive gaming computer for himself illicitly, using his GPs payment details. I am beyond shocked and at a loss how to handle the situation, short of returning the computer, obviously. He has history for lying when he's done something wrong to try to cover it up, but has never to my knowledge done anything like this. The deception was elaborate, setting up a fake email address to send himself an anonymous ' we've sent you a computer but don't want you to feel guilty so not saying who we are' message signed 'Family' then acting surprised and suggesting GPs did it when drunk so don't remember.

How do you handle something like that?

PberryT Tue 20-Dec-16 09:19:38

Go postal.

Report him to the police for fraud.

WiFi off.

Consoles, phone, computer, tablets all confiscated.

No Xmas presents.

What a bloody awful thing to do.

Last of all talk to him and find out why.

Rosa Tue 20-Dec-16 09:22:21

how did he get the card details ?
Clamp down hard could only get worse.

EssentialHummus Tue 20-Dec-16 09:27:30

Straight to police IMO.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 20-Dec-16 09:29:01

Christ. The amount of deception here is striking; along with the actual crime of stealing card details.

There's going to be a division of opinions as to whether to report him - it is a serious crime. Reporting him would give him the shock that he needs and show him just how serious this is; but it could also land him with a caution or a criminal record before he's 16. Juvenile records are no longer sealed; so this would need to be declared. Not reporting him removes that risk, but means it is MUCH harder to show him how serious this was and what the repercussions could have been - he knew what he was doing; so he knows what could have happened, but he's banked on you protecting him if you found out.

As a very start; I'd return the laptop (if it's returnable, some custom builds aren't) and then get GPs to report that their details may have been compromised so they get a new card and new details. I'd then be locking away any cards or money when he's around; to highlight how much this has damaged trust, and also to prevent temptation if I'm honest.

Your issue will be that now that he's done it once, the big barrier to not stealing has gone. It's much easier to repeat once you've done it once, whether or not the first time was successful.

I'd also be turning off WiFi and removing gadgets.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 20-Dec-16 09:30:05

(Technically it'd actually be obtaining goods by deception and fraud charges; rather than theft, but you know what I mean).

0nline Tue 20-Dec-16 09:30:40

Do the Grandparents know ? As in, was it them who told you their card had been used ?

I think if it is their card it might be them who decides what happens, in terms of reporting the theft of their card detail and fraudulent use to the bank and the police. So it might be out of your hands from that perspective.

In theory I think I'd be inclined to tonne of bricks it with a 15 year old. Encouraging the GPs to report as though a complete stranger had done it, not allowing emotions to limit the consequences.

My brother stole from our mother's bank account, putting her deep in the red, when he was 14. Mum protected him. As an adult he maintained the position that as long as you steal from family, you are safe from the law.

In retrospect, it might have been better to shock and awe him with bank/police reporting back then, when the first heaven duty stealing happened. With the hope that it would put him off from future repetitions.

Because protecting him from the genuinely scary consequences of what he did achieved fuck all in warding off light fingered habits being formed.

Grescille Tue 20-Dec-16 09:32:18

Omg poor you sad what a nightmare

Make him confront GPS and explain
Obviously take computer away and see if you can return it
If not you will have to refund money to GPS and make ds earn it back (how old is he)

Grescille Tue 20-Dec-16 09:33:24

Sorry just seen he's 15. What do GPS want to do

MiladyThesaurus Tue 20-Dec-16 09:34:42

When the GPs report the unauthorised use of their card to the bank, the bank may involved the police anyway.

OhNoArgh Tue 20-Dec-16 09:39:25

GPs are on holiday and hard to contact. The timing may not be coincidental. At this stage it's just my supposition, I can see nowhere else the money could have come from, and it fits with the attempted deception.

They dote on him, would never report him to the police. I was wondering if that was something to consider, but wouldn't want him to get a record at this stage.

It's heartbreaking really, as said he's had issues with lying in the past but thought he was getting better, he's assured me lots that he has. Now that's all out the window. Makes you feel like a failure as a parent.

CauliflowerSqueeze Tue 20-Dec-16 09:46:52

How did he break it to you? Did he do a good act of excitement?

MiladyThesaurus Tue 20-Dec-16 09:50:12

They may notice the money missing and report the card fraud to their bank (who may involve the police). I wouldn't assume it was a family member if this happened; I'd just phone the number on the back of the card and report the issue to the bank.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 20-Dec-16 09:56:00

he's assured me lots that he has.

That's the problem with a liar; they just get better at it all, including lying to themselves and everyone else.

Makes you feel like a failure as a parent.

That's not true, though. Nothing you did encouraged this.

It is difficult. Does he know you know? You may be able to assess how serious this is by sitting him down and asking him to be honest about the laptop. If he sticks to the lie; I'd be more likely to seriously consider the police. If he comes clean, and is very honest, that may suggest that he's feeling guilty at some level.

When are GPs due back? You really need to secure that card... It's likely he's got the details written down somewhere.

I think it'll be a tough decision what to do here. I tend to run on the side that the police can be heavy handed; but this is really serious and as he's had some issues with the truth before, I wonder if it's worth risking a caution to drive home that this isn't acceptable and hope it stops him in his tracks. If it's reported as fraud to the CC company; they could report it anyway.

I had to report my little sister for theft; it started with nicking £10 notes from me or my foster mum, then £25, then she'd steal any money that she could see. Then she started stealing cards and drawing money out in the branch, the staff knew us so believed her when she said our foster mum had sent her to draw out £X but she'd forgotten the PIN. Then she started ordering online. Eventually she'd steal any money she saw; it was like a compulsion. Because she'd got away with it; and because she did it so much, any money she knew about felt like 'hers'.

She was interviewed and came clean, the police threatened taking her to court, a duty solicitor explained what that would do to her prospects. They let her go in the end; and as far as I know, she hasn't done it again. She was 15 too. I won't say it wasn't immensely stressful, but I hope it stopped it escalating, because it seemed pretty certain to before. And people still struggle to trust her, even though she's now 23.

CauliflowerSqueeze Tue 20-Dec-16 12:53:49

If he has the credit card details and he likes computers I am wondering if he has possibly been buying online games / gambling etc as well. I think you need to sit him down and make every effort to come clean. GPs would not go online and buy a computer and forget if they were drunk. That's ridiculous. That's where his lie falls apart.

OhNoArgh Tue 20-Dec-16 16:43:24

He has been buying games with his own money, I think it's just this one item. We will check once the GPs are back from holiday - they know that a computer was purchased and were asked if it was them, they don't know yet that he did it himself using their money. It was actually their Amazon details he used rather than the CC itself. He obviously has some deep seated issues and is in a bad place right now, I need to strike a balance between supporting him while making absolutely clear just how bad his actions have been.

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