11-year-old accidentally spends almost $7,500 on microtransactions using Dad's credit card

midian182

Posts: 5,674   +43
Staff member

There’s been another case of a child using their parents’ credit card to spend a massive amount of money on microtransactions. Roy Dobson, from Chorley in Lancashire, UK, discovered that his 11-year-old son Alfie spent almost £6000 (around $7465) on in-app purchases over the course of just two weekends.

Dobson had linked his family iTunes account to his credit card, unwittingly allowing Alfie to spend £99 on more than 50 microtransactions using the iPad. He spent £700 in less than five minutes, then £1,100 in half an hour, all on the same game.

"He's bought things in the past for 99p or £1.49, but he's always asked and then he saw this at £99 and was just curious as to what you would get for £99,” said Alfie’s mother, Jill, who added that he’s only allowed to play on the tablet during weekends.

"It was just to get better in the game, there's nothing to show for it, I didn't even know you could buy things for £99. It's scary. He said the game was that good he couldn't stop, but he only thought he pressed it a few times."

Thankfully for the family, Apple has agreed to refund them the money that Alfie spent. The Cupertino company didn’t comment on the case, but it did recommend using parental controls and its Ask to Buy feature to monitor kids’ spending.

In early 2016, an Ontario teenager spent almost $8000 on microtransactions in one of the FIFA games over the course of a month. He used his father’s convenience store credit card and claims to have had no idea he was racking up the charges.

Permalink to story.

 

amstech

Posts: 2,620   +1,790
I tried to get my money back (about $500+) from Supercell for my main Clash of Clans village about a year ago. Ha. That went about as well as an outdoor wedding in a thunderstorm.
Meh, suppose its correct, I am the !diot that spent the money.
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,281
Thank heavens this kind of thing didn't exist when my kids were that age because if that happened to me, I'd be doing life because of their murders. Just kidding about the last part, I love them too much to even contemplate doing that kind of thing and even if this kind of thing existed back then, I would've lorded over it with an iron fist. Naturally I blame that kids parents. At 11 years of age, any parent with half a brain wouldn't let their kids have anything to with buying anything on credit unless it is done right before their very eyes while they're sitting on their lap, and afterwards the child lock reimplemented when the kid is not looking so they can't see the password. I've gotta begrudgingly give Apple Kudos for being gracious enough to refund those poor iSaps their money. They didn't get to where they are today by being sympathetic, kind hearted and generous.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,428   +2,029
It's a rare occasion to see Apple do something nice for a change. I would never link my credit card to a store in case someone gets a hold of my phone.
 

PoppaHank

Posts: 15   +6
My granddaughter spent $631 in about 30 minutes. I called the credit card company and cancelled the payments, but then the vendor complained to Apple and they blackballed me. Six years later they still don't like me.
 

Kenrick

Posts: 631   +401
Ignorant and dumb parents. I shared my itunes account with our toddler's ipad and in the ipad's settings, there are safeguards there to ask for verification or even restrict in-app purchases for that device!

Good on Apple for refunding them. I hope they use the money to educate themselves for proper use of gadgets among kids.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lazer

Scshadow

Posts: 610   +260
"...but he only thought he pressed it a few times". "He used his father’s convenience store credit card and claims to have had no idea he was racking up the charges". No, no, no, no. Please. Those kids should have to earn every penny back because they spent it. They knew they spent it. I can't believe parents can be so gullible. I would legit make them work at min wage rates and have them doing any and all work I can think of.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Reehahs

andy06shake

Posts: 506   +162
Give a wean access to your account details or enter them into there tablet of phone without deleting such is simply asking for something like this to happen.

That being said there should obviously be some kind of third party authorization required after say a few £100 quid has been spent on kids games.

After all its easy enough to analyse the spending pattern and see that something might be amiss.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,840   +2,125
Give a wean access to your account details or enter them into there tablet of phone without deleting such is simply asking for something like this to happen.

That being said there should obviously be some kind of third party authorization required after say a few £100 quid has been spent on kids games.

After all its easy enough to analyse the spending pattern and see that something might be amiss.
Best method: use the built in features to prevent children from buying things, or dont give your child a tablet or phone withoyur details in the first place. GBAs are cheap on ebay.

Method for those who want their kids to use their devices: charge up itunes with prepaid cards, so if they go on a buying frenzy, they can only spend whatever you have preloaded. Better to be out $25 then $700.
 

Nero7

Posts: 498   +234
In his age I used to play Age of Empires and Lords of the Realm II and learned something about history and civilization and stuff. All he'll learn with this kind of game is that you pay cash to get better stuff.

heh, photon man
 

Puiu

Posts: 3,879   +2,391
My granddaughter spent $631 in about 30 minutes. I called the credit card company and cancelled the payments, but then the vendor complained to Apple and they blackballed me. Six years later they still don't like me.
that's because in general you don't call the bank, but call the other party to ask for a refund.
 

Tanstar

Posts: 658   +200
" and was just curious as to what you would get for £99" Sp it wasn't an accidental charge at all. Apple was far kinder than I would be.
 

Emexrulsier

Posts: 612   +85
I have got into the Habit of removing my card from my account immediately after buying things.

Both my daughters have tablets and download what they like from the app stores. If the app costs money I generally will buy it on my card. The annoying thing though is that it always saves your card details, so just remember afterwards to log into the wallet and remove any payment options.

Another option is to buy vouchers and load them onto their accounts, this also helps to teach them that its not an unlimited pot when its gone its gone. My eldest whos only 11 has already told me how she hates buying things as she got nothing for it and it went very fast and this was just a £20 quid card.
 

Sangheili

Posts: 6   +0
I have got into the Habit of removing my card from my account immediately after buying things.

Both my daughters have tablets and download what they like from the app stores. If the app costs money I generally will buy it on my card. The annoying thing though is that it always saves your card details, so just remember afterwards to log into the wallet and remove any payment options.

Another option is to buy vouchers and load them onto their accounts, this also helps to teach them that its not an unlimited pot when its gone its gone. My eldest whos only 11 has already told me how she hates buying things as she got nothing for it and it went very fast and this was just a £20 quid card.
if it's apple you can turn on it the settings restrictions but you need to at lest set up a password for that but you can restrict people from buying and deleting apps from the ipad, as well as buying in game items that use real money, there is also 20+ other things like restricting so they cant watch rated R stuff.
 

Sangheili

Posts: 6   +0
In his age I used to play Age of Empires and Lords of the Realm II and learned something about history and civilization and stuff. All he'll learn with this kind of game is that you pay cash to get better stuff.

heh, photon man
then 15 years later you find out almost all the history is wrong in those 2 games :D