Bethany Howell initially thought she’d been hacked when she received 13 order confirmations from Amazon the week before Christmas, confirming the purchase of $250 worth of Pokémon items.
Howell and her husband, who live in Maumelle, Arkansas, then suspected their 6-year-old daughter, Ashlynd, had maybe bought the items by mistake, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“No, Mommy, I was shopping,” Howell told the newspaper that her daughter told her. “But don’t worry -- everything that I ordered is coming straight to the house.”
The girl’s actions were as cunning as they were costly. Howell told the Daily Mail Online that she and Ashlynd had been lying on the couch one night, watching a movie before bed, when she dozed off.
Ashlynd used her sleeping mother’s thumb to bypass the security screen of Howell’s iPhone, which unlocks with the touch ID mechanism. The girl knew how the phone unlocked because her mother allows her to watch YouTube or Netflix videos on the device.
That night, she went onto the Amazon app instead.
“I didn’t know she knew what Amazon was,” Howell told the Mail.
Howell’s anecdote about Ashlynd’s pre-holiday shopping spree was part of a larger story the Wall Street Journal wrote about how online ads, cookies, browsing histories and other technology is making it harder for people to keep Christmas gifts secret from their loved ones.
Amazon would only let the Howells return some of the items Ashlynd bought. She received the rest for Christmas, but with a catch.
The Howells told Ashlynd she couldn’t keep all the toys because Santa found out how she had bought them, the Mail reported.