As parents of a child with autism, namely Boy Wonder, we often find ourselves in situations where he needs to be taught that his actions are not appropriate, but secretly we are highly impressed and secretly proud of his ‘abilities!’
Daddy was woken early, not by Boy Wonder but by a barrage of emails that had come through notifying him that he had spent a total of £400.00 on Fifa points throughout yesterday evening! The obvious things went through his head like fraud, mistaken identity…. What are Fifa points anyway?! The bank card company then joined in the party by texting to notify of potential fraudulent use of the card. At this point I woke up to the instruction of ‘ You need to talk to Boy Wonder, he has run up a £400.00 bill on Fifa!’ Oh jeez!!
On the way to school the ‘chat’ occurred. Boy Wonder made no attempt to deny obtaining Fifa points but was rather miffed at the overall bill. I asked him how he had managed to access the account and he said ‘that’s easy, I just typed in the password.’ I asked him how he knew the password as it was one of those nonsensical, long winded ones. Boy Wonder replied that he had memorised it from seeing Daddy type it in a while ago and thought that it would be okay to use as he had £3.99 to pay Daddy back for what he had purchased. I asked him how he had memorised the password and he said that it was easy and then proceeded to reel off numerous other passwords and pin codes that he also knew! It was at this point that I felt that mixture of dread and admiration. What a phenomenal brain this boy has!
We refocussed on the content of the purchases which consisted of 24 invoices within seconds of each other. Boy wonder stated that he intended to buy one set of points but then it kept telling him to get more to find a particular player, so he did!! He was able to tell me how many sets this consisted of (which was about half of the full amount) but said that he didn’t know the full cost of this as it only told him individual prices. He appeared genuinely shocked and then started to panic. I explained that we would try and sort it out and reiterated that if anything has a password that he must ask first, even if he knows it. Boy Wonder agreed that this was a good skill to learn!
After some discussion with the game provider, telling them all about our little autistic hacker they happily refunded the purchases and could barely contain their amusement. The conversation finished with a ‘ thank you for making my day’ and it wasn’t us that said that, although the refund certainly did!
As for taking responsibility for the event, we have changed all passwords and we have told Boy Wonder that the games provider has refunded Daddy on this occasion but if he purchases anything else without permission they will charge him and also add on the £400.00 . Boy Wonder said that he will never do it again. ( Until next time!!)