Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 16:47 UK

Toddler buys real digger online

Digger image provided by Kabelco
Pipi's parents nearly had to dig deep

A New Zealand couple nearly found themselves in a financial hole when their three-year-old daughter bought an earthdigger in an internet auction.

The child, Pipi Quinlan, was trying out her online skills while her parents were asleep in bed.

They only unearthed the truth when they received an email demand for NZ$20,000 (£8,000) from the seller.

Pipi's mother, Sarah, had left the computer logged on. The owner of the digger is not insisting on the sale.


Sarah Quinlan told the BBC that she had been looking for toys online, and using an automatic log-in to an auction site.

But a shock was in store when she got up the next day.

"When I found an email from a guy who said 'can you deposit the money?' I thought - hang on - this isn't quite what I expected," she said.

Pipi had only been allowed to use the computer for the first time the week before - but is obviously a fast learner.

"It's been a lot of fun," said Sarah, "She's earned a bit of notoriety."

But Sarah is determined the same thing will not happen again, and has urged the parents of other young children not to be caught out.

"I've taken all my automatic log-ins off anything she could purchase from," she said.

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