An 11-year-old girl was ‘scammed’ into spending over $4,000 to lip sync with her favourite TikTok influencer

KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA - 2019/04/17: The tiktok application sign seen on a screen of an Android phone, the application has been banned from India. (Photo by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • An 11-year-old girl spent thousands of her parents’ money talking and lip-syncing with her favorite 24-year-old male influencer.
  • The young girl managed to spend “about £3,500” ($4,198) in a month through iTunes, while her parents were none the wiser.
  • “It’s wiped out all my money,” her mother told Cambridgeshire Live. “It’s all the money I had, it’s over £3,500 ($4,198) and all my overdraft, and I now have not one penny left for me and my family.”
  • The bill obtained by Cambridgeshire Live shows rows and rows of transactions, some as much as £99.99 ($119.99) at a time. Her mother said her daughter had been “scammed,” but still doesn’t realize it.
  • A TikTok spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear about this user’s experience and have opened an internal investigation as part of our regular review process, which will help us further strengthen our internal controls.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A mother in the UK was shocked to discover her 11-year-old daughter had racked up thousands in bills from playing with the app TikTok, Cambridgeshire Live reported.

The young girl managed to spend “about £3,500,” or $4,198, in a month through iTunes, while her parents were none the wiser. She was apparently obsessed with a 24-year-old male influencer who hasn’t been named.

“We didn’t realize that the card was attached to the account and so didn’t realize she was spending all this money,” the mother, who can’t be named to protect the girl’s identity, told Cambridgeshire Live. “We didn’t get any notification from iTunes or the bank even though she was spending hundreds of pounds a day.”

She added that she’s had to spend “every penny” of her savings, and has had to go deep into her overdraft.

“It’s wiped out all my money,” she said. “It’s all the money I had, it’s over £3,500 and all my overdraft, and I now have not one penny left for me and my family.”

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The girl was buying coins on the app so that she and the influencer could lip sync together and have private video calls. The bill obtained by Cambridgeshire Live shows rows and rows of transactions, some as much as £99.99 ($119.99) at a time. Her mother said her daughter had been scammed, but still doesn’t realize it.

“I’ve now messaged [the man] from her phone, and said I was her mum,” she added. “He didn’t believe me, and he didn’t seem to care about the money.”

She said although she contacted the police and her bank, “no one can help.” She did receive £127 ($152.33) from iTunes, but has had no luck getting anything else back.

tik tok tiktok

A TikTok spokesperson told Cambridgeshire Live that the company is “committed to maintaining a fun, positive environment, and has strict policies against any deceptive or inappropriate behaviour.”

“We are very sorry to hear about this user’s experience and have opened an internal investigation as part of our regular review process, which will help us further strengthen our internal controls,” they said.

“We encourage users to report any potentially inappropriate behaviour through our in-app reporting function or by emailing us at feedback@tiktok.com. Parents concerned about the possibility of accidental in-app purchases should ensure that the payment function is disabled.”

Insider has contacted TikTok for further comment.

Read more: Exclusive data shows the top 11 rising stars on TikTok, the short-form video app loved by Generation Z

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