The Latest Ponzi Scheme: Facebook’s Fake Currency Charges You Real Interests

Mashable

Facebook scheme

Oh dear — looks like it’s time to add FarmVille to the list of internet addiction scares after a 12-year-old UK boy amassed £905 in FarmVille debt. About £288 of that came from the boy’s own savings, while £625 was billed to his horrified mother’s credit card.

The debt — equivalent to about $1,400 USD — was racked up in all of about two weeks’ worth of gameplay. In the popular casual Facebook game, players can spend real money to accrue virtual currency and items. It’s a business that’s booming enough to garner the game’s developer, Zynga, an estimated valuation as high as $5 billion.

Neither Zynga nor the mother’s credit card company HSBC responded positively to requests for refunds; the latter indicated only a criminal proceeding could trigger eligibility for getting the funds reinstated. A spokeswoman for HSBC indicated that had the expenditures been on a gambling site the escalating transactions would have raised warning flags, but since the purchases were technically Facebook Credits, they didn’t warrant suspicion.

What do you think: Is FarmVille destined to replace World of Warcraft as the favorite scapegoat for cable news gaming addiction scare segments?

About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

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