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12-Year-Old FarmVille User Racks Up $1400 In Debt

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The FarmVille habit is hard to kick.

Just ask politician Dimitar Kerin, who was voted off a council committee for playing FarmVille on the job. Or the 7,000 members of the FarmVille Addicts Anonymous Facebook group.

Or, if you can track him down, the anonymous British boy who racked up nearly $1400 (900 GBP) in debt playing FarmVille.

The 12 year old dropped about $440 of his own savings on the online farming game, then turned to his mother's credit card (without her permission), to which he charged about $950 in order to finance his FarmVille habit.

The user's mother told the Guardian, "The total spend is about 905 GBP, but the credits are still rolling in. Facebook and [game creator] Zynga will not refund anything as [the son] lives in my house. Facebook has disabled his account and Zynga has unhelpfully suggested I use password protection on computers in the future."

HSBC, the mother's bank, also refused to refund the charges, informing the concerned parent that "she would only qualify for a refund if she reported her son to the police and obtained a crime number."

So what does $1400 buy you on FarmVille? The game, which allows players to harvest crops and tend to e-livestock on a virtual farm, is free, but players who are eager to move ahead more quickly can use real cash to buy virtual coins for use in the game.

Get more details on the FarmVille debt story from the Guardian.

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Filed by Bianca Bosker
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