Elyria mom struggling to make ends meet after special needs son charges $6,000 on Google Play

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:37 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ELYRIA, Ohio (WOIO) - An Elyria mom is trying to make ends meet after her son with special needs spent thousands of dollars online.

“I was like oh my God, oh my God, oh my God but I kinda just had faith that it would all work out,” said mother Emily Chonko.

When Chonko checked her bank account last month and saw nearly $6,000 worth of charges, she nearly passed out.

“When I first seen it like my whole stomach just fell,” she said. “I cried. I just felt like a big baby.”

She quickly discovered her 10-year-old son Julian was behind the long list of charges from google play.

“I told them that my son was nonverbal he’s autistic that he didn’t understand what he was doing he was just basically living his best life and getting all the coins for his game and didn’t really understand the concept of money and how it works,” Chonko said.

The Elyria mom immediately started a dispute with KeyBank and with Google.

Chonko said she had two-step verification set up on her phone but somehow her son figured out her password and was able to make the purchases.

“The bank never flagged it; they never notified me,” she said.

Emily Chonko is raising 8-year-old Gabriella and 10-year-old Julian on her own. Her children’s father passed away from diabetes complications earlier this year.

“We’ve been going through a lot lately,” Chonko admitted. “We’re gonna get through it. It’s not a bad life just a small bad moment so we’re trying to stay positive.”

She said Google denied her claim almost right away. KeyBank launched an investigation and at first, they credited her the money, but she received a letter from KeyBank on Monday that made her heart sink.

“They just told me yesterday in the mail that they took back the credit and that they weren’t gonna go forward with the claim, that they denied it,” she said.

KeyBank took back all of the money they had credited her, money Chonko needed to take care of her two kids.

“I was using it to save up for a bigger place for us because where we’re at is just really small. It’s a two-bedroom and they’re still sharing a room and she wants her own room they’re just getting older and everything with inflation right now and living paycheck to paycheck.”

She’s hoping KeyBank and Google will reconsider. In the meantime, she’s removed her bank cards from her phone and started a fundraising page to help get her life back on track.

19 News reached out to Google and KeyBank. So far, we have not heard back.