Forget kids spending money on iPads – one Mancunian mother faces a daily battle with her young son and his computer ‘mischief’.
Sneaky ten-year-old Oscar has a history of totting up bills – none greater than a £1,000 outlay after setting up his own personal eBay account when he was just six.
Under the username ‘King Freeze the police officer’, the whizzkid ordered a host of items including a £300 limited edition lightsabre for his brother. But Oscar displayed his thoughtful side when he bought nappy bags for his sister.
And Clare McCarron was in for a nasty surprise as she checked Oscar’s e-mail and saw letter after letter of invoices.
“It was really very stressful and I’m surprised I can even laugh about it now to be honest!” said the Didsbury mum-of-three.
“At first I was really worried as I thought he’d done it on my account and so I thought I’d be liable, but he didn’t know my password.
“So he told me about his eBay account. He tried to spell our address which he didn’t get right and thankfully he didn’t enter my credit card details – although he’s done it before!
“I had to e-mail about 20 people saying ‘I’m really sorry but my son’s made up this account’ but some just didn’t believe me.”
Thankfully Clare, 37, did not have to pay for her son’s shopping list – and it all worked out when sellers complained and had the account shut down.
Oscar has Asperger’s Syndrome and while extremely intelligent, can have difficulty understanding certain social situations.
And Clare – who counts Amazon and iTunes as other favourite e-destinations for her internet mastermind – believes it is his ability to remember which lands him in trouble.
“He’s got a bit better recently and you hope he’s more aware now,” she explained.
“He doesn’t hack my account, but he has such a super amazing memory so he remembers when I enter my details on the computer.
“We change the password all the time but I’ve just got a £27 Apple bill for coins for some game that he plays!”
Nonetheless, the full-time mum can’t help but be proud of her boy – even if he does have a certain penchant for mischief.
“At the time it was amazing, my eight-year-old now would have no idea how to set up an account and Oscar was six when he did it,” she added.
“He’s very bright – on the gifted and talented list at school. But I need to get him into ethical hacking or something to channel it into some kind of career path.
“Otherwise he might be the next Gary McKinnon and get extradited to the US!”
His two siblings – eight-year-old Archie and Iris, 6 – don’t get a lot of brotherly love from Oscar sometimes, but Clare thinks his eBay experience shows he truly cares.
“He can be quite horrid to his siblings but in a way I was proud of him for being so kind,” said Clare.
“I think buying the nappy bags for his sister was a way of saying she was still a baby though – she’d just grown out of them as she was four at the time!”