11 year old scammed by friend
Dude67 · 14/05/2020 07:12
First time ever posting on mumsnet but I’m really struggling and could do with some help/advice/support. My 11 year old son (soon to be 12) started secondary school last September. He’s gone to a selective grammar school outside of the area so no friends from primary, but most other kids in a similar position. He’d not really mentioned any specific friends but has always been more friendly with kids as a group rather than individuals. Back in March he went to PGL and came back saying it had been rubbish, and ultimately had a meltdown saying we were too strict as parents and people were picking on him because of it. We put this down to tiredness and when I tried to discuss it with him, he wouldn’t elaborate and assured me everything was ok at school. Every now and then I check his WhatsApp messages, and I couldn’t find any evidence of ‘bullying’ apart from a few minor banter-type messages which didn’t really concern me.
During lockdown, his main way of communicating with friends has been on WhatsApp and on the Xbox. He’s not wanted to FaceTime or zoom anyone, we’ve checked a few times.
Last night he was adamant he wanted to go on Fifa (Xbox game) as he had some players to trade. We limit access but I let him on it, but because he was so adamant about it I asked what was happening. Basically, one of his ‘friends’ from school had said to him that if he bought certain players then he had a friend who would give him millions of fifa coins. So basically, my son would use his fifa coins (virtual coins you earn through playing and trading players) to buy certain players, and this guy was going to transfer him millions of coins in return. It was clearly a scam, and I told my son this but he said I was being negative and that it would work 🙈anyway, he carried on and spent 200,000 coins. Obvs no millions of coins appeared. He got upset and went to bed, I tried to comfort him and assure him that it didn’t matter. He’d not lost actual money it was just virtual stuff.
So when he went to bed my husband and I read his WhatsApp messages and turns out that this ‘friend’ had done exactly the same to him at easter, and another ‘friend’ had done it before too. We’re obvs concerned about a few things, like he’s too trusting, and his ‘friends’ are basically not friends at all. He woke up in the night and wanted me, he was crying and told me this boy had done it twice before and he was really stupid for falling for it. I kind of agree but don’t want to say that to him!! My son is a really bright, funny, intelligent kid. But it’s so frustrating that he seems to struggle socially and also is so gullible to fall for this. Anyone been through anything vaguely similar who has any words of wisdom? Thanks in advance, and well done if you read this far! x
HappyParent2000 · 16/05/2020 19:09
There is a lesson in everything, these things are expected and simply nothing to worry about.
What is important is to discuss red flags, how to identify unfair or even “scam” like transactions, a valuable life lesson!
No one should get in trouble over this, no one need anything more than to laugh and learn.
CoddledAsAMommet · 16/05/2020 20:06
I'd take him out of the selective school with no friends and put him in the local school where he'll be happy. I'd do it without hesitation.
I have an 18 year old DD who had similar issues early on in secondary and we ought to have moved her pronto. She never recovered, never regained her confidence or other children's respect and still has no friends.
He has every chance of gaining grades that are just as good in a regular school and he may emerge with his mental health intact and a handful of mates.
Talk to him and let him use this time away to seriously think about what HE wants to do. If it's change schools, listen to him.
Dude67 · 16/05/2020 21:42
He does have some primary friends that he’s still in touch with, so that’s good. I’ve asked him if he regrets going to the school he’s at and he’s adamant that he loves it and doesn’t want to move... it was always his choice to go there and we certainly didn’t force him into it. I’m kind of hoping that this one boy is a bad apple and that most of the other boys are ok. I’m going to see if he fancies giving drama a go, at least in lockdown he might not feel as awkward as going to a physical class. Thanks all
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