App Store: 6-year-old spends $ 16,000 on mother’s iPad

A 6-year-old child spent $ 16,000 on the App Store without his parents knowing. Addicted to the game Sonic Forces, the boy bought thousands of upgrades with his mother’s iPad. No parental controls had indeed been put in place on the tablet. Apple has steadfastly refused to reimburse the purchases.

IPad App Store Spends $ 16,000
Credit: Kelly Sikkema on UnSplash

George Johnson, a 6-year-old, spent $ 16,000 in Sonic Forces, a game available on the App Store, report our colleagues from the New York Post. Forced to work from home, his mother had the bad idea of ​​giving her son an iPad to occupy him.

Throughout the month of July 2020, little George bought options to unlock characters and features additional at prices ranging from $ 1.99 to $ 9.99. In one day, the young boy would sometimes spend more than $ 2,500 through Sonic Forces in-app purchases without his mother knowing. “It’s as if my 6 year old is growing bigger and bigger lines of cocaine” explains Jessica Johnson, a 41-year-old mother.

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Apple refuses to reimburse mother

Finally, she realized the thousands of purchases made by her son by consulting his PayPal account and his Apple account. First persuaded to be victim of fraud, Jessica contacted her bank. “The way the purchases are grouped together made it almost impossible to figure out that they came from a game” declares the resident of Connecticut (United States). After investigation, the bank determined that Jessica had not been the victim of fraud and hacking.

She then scrupulously peeled the list of expenses displayed on their Apple account. Upon discovering the Sonic Forces logo, Jessica finally understood that her son was the cause of the problem. So she contacted Apple customer service. “They told me that because I haven’t called within 60 days of spending, there’s nothing they can do. The reason I didn’t call within 60 days is because the bank thought it was fraud ” testifies the quarantine.

Jessica Johnson admits to not having put in place parental controls to restrict access to in-app purchases from the App Store. By going to the settings of the application, it is possible “Prevent your child from installing or removing apps, making in-app purchases”, details Apple on its website. You can block all in-app purchases or request that a code be requested with each transaction.

“If I had known that there were limitations for this, I would not have allowed my 6 year old to spend almost $ 20,000 on virtual gold rings” Jessica regrets, bitterly. This is not the first time that a child has spent astronomical sums on the App Store without the knowledge of his parents. At the start of the year, an 8-year-old girl spent € 2,235 in the Roblox game. Again, Apple refused to reimburse the parents, arguing that “Customers are responsible for transactions authorized using their Apple ID”.

Source: New York Post