(WHDH) — A warning tonight if you or your kids play video games online. One local boy’s account was hijacked. Then the culprit went on a shopping spree with the family’s money! Hank Phillippi Ryan helped crack the case. 7 Investigates.

Playing video games is how Jac feels comfortable connecting with other kids.

“Jac, he’s autistic. It’s easier for him to play on the video game than it is to interact face to face,” Jessica, Jac’s mom, says. “He can join into a game and say, ‘Hi, I’m Jac. Can I play with you guys?’”

But that way of connecting led to a big problem.

In January, the 12-year-old started gaming with another player.

That player lured Jac into revealing his login and password, saying he wanted to share characters.

He then used the info to take over Jac’s Xbox account and lock Jac out!

“He was almost in tears, and he’s like, ‘They stole my account, mom,” Jessica says.

“I was like, ‘My account is gone. It’s lost.’ I didn’t know what to do,” Jac says.

In the gaming world, Jac’s account with all its characters and accessories is worth thousands of dollars.

“The guy was going to sell it.

Hank: Your account would be totally gone then?

Jac: Yeah.

And it gets worse: Jac’s account was linked to his family’s PayPal.

The player used the account to order gaming equipment and had it delivered to a home in Chicago!

Jac’s family disputed the charges and called the Winchendon Police, who said they’d never heard of a gaming account being hijacked.

“It was heartbreaking because it’s just something that he’s worked so hard for,” Jessica says.

Through all this, the scammer continued gaming using Jac’s account and playing with Jac’s friends!

Jac’s older sister messaged him through her account, saying:

“So, you have other people’s accounts that you stole?”

He told her, “Yes, I have like over 20.”

“I was just like, ‘Wow, really? Somebody would actually do that to a little kid?'” Jessica says.

We called that Chicago address where the gaming equipment was sent and left phone messages.

Then we contacted Chicago PD, who investigated.

Soon the Winchendon PD called Jessica with surprising news about the culprit.

“It was a 14-year-old boy,” Jessica says.

“In Chicago?” Hank asked.

“Yeah. I was really shocked,” Jessica says.

Police said they spoke to the boy’s father. Soon the teen emailed the family with the password to reclaim Jac’s account.

“Are you so happy you have your account back?” Hank asked.

“Uh-huh,” Jac says.

“He is definitely very thankful. I’m very thankful. I think that it’s fantastic that you guys would just take the time to do this,” Jessica says.

PayPal refunded the family’s money after we told the company what happened. Be sure to tell your children they should never share their logins and passwords with other players.

If you have a tip or story idea email: Tell7@whdh.com

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