Parents awake to shocking bill after three-year-old's nocturnal internet toy hunt

A couple in New Zealand were nearly left in financial difficulties after their three-year-old daughter bought a digger in an internet auction.

Unbeknown to her parents, who were asleep in bed, Pipi Quinaln decided to practice her online skills after her mother Sarah, left the computer logged on.

The truth was only unearthed when the couple received an email from the seller of the piece of construction plant demanding NZ$20,000 (£8,000).

The actual size of the digger would presumably have been quite a surprise

Sarah Quinlan told the BBC that her daughter had been looking for toys online when she used an automatic log-in to an auction site.

She said she was shocked when she woke up to the email the following 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 told the BBC.

She added that Pipi had only been allowed to use the computer for the first time a week before, but was evidently a fast learner.

“It's been a lot of fun,” her mother added. “She's earned a bit of notoriety”.