Boy, 7 Years Old, Spends $1200 Online on Apple Games

Expires in 11 months

10 September 2022

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After her son, who is seven years old, spent $4000 on games, a mother of two accused Apple of giving her children the ability to spend money online.

Abi Smith received a series of emails confirming that her son Harry had made more than 60 in-app purchases totalling PS1,218 without her consent.

She had put the password on Harry's iPad, but Harry managed to switch it with her thumbprint. Then she spent PS792 on virtual cat food and other items.

The woman of 40 hails from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, was forced to take out a loan to pay the bills. She is now taking to the streets of Apple for initially refusing her the refund.

Abi Smith received a series of emails confirming her son Harry had made more than 60 purchases in-app totalling PS1,218 with out her permission

The 40-year old woman is from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, had to borrow money to pay her bills. She has since taken to the streets of Apple for initially refusing her refund

Abi Smith had created a password for Harry seven-year-old's iPad. However, Harry, a smart little boy, changed it for his thumbprint in a cheeky attempt to keep Reggie four (pictured together).

Harry bought eight lots of virtual cat food costing PS99 each on The Battle Cats game, as well as making several purchases on Minecraft for PS48.99 each as well as six of the popular game Among Us and smaller purchases of PS1.99.

Apple has since confirmed that it will refund Ms. Smith the money.

But furloughed PA Ms. Smith is now urging Apple to add an extra layer of security.

She stated that the games are addictive and encourage children to spend more money. Apple allows children to use this platform.

"Harry was a child and did something innocent for a child to do. He didn't want his little brother to access his iPad so he scribbled his thumbprint to prevent him from getting in.

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"Normally he'd call me and ask me if I could download this. I'd say yes or no.

"It has never happened to me before and it won't occur again." The security features are there but for me, they're not enough. The addition of something as simple as CVC CVC is an additional measure.

'I'm furloughed. I've already seen an increase in my monthly payment but then it was wiped clean. I needed to borrow money to sort my bills out.

"My son has special needs and I'm strugglingwith it," she stated. This is unfair.

She branded the games 'dangerous' for encouraging continuous in-app purchases, after Harry went from spending 99p to racking up a four-figure sum.

Harry offered to pay his mother back using his own money from his pocket.

She stated, "The only purchase I made on that account was 99p. I was unaware of it until they informed me that your card details automatically save."

"There should be a choice." And should there be, I'd say no. This is a complete avoidance of this happening with kids. This is the way I would like to achieve with Apple.

"I had security settings in place and unfortunately I've got a very clever boy who managed to get his thumbprint on there.'

Ms. Smith claims that her bank refused to stop payments because they were classed as authorised. Ms Smith then requested each purchase to be individually reimbursed online, but Apple twice refused to reimburse her.

When she confronted Harry the boy was 'in tears' and offered to pay her back by putting his money in his pocket.

Apple declined to comment, but pointed to its "Ask to Buy" feature which will send a request to family members every time the child is attempting to purchase.

To avoid problems similar to Ms. Smith's, the parent or account holder is able to decide whether or not to accept the request.

PONOS, the creators of The Battle Cats, Microsoft, which owns Minecraft and Inner Sloth, who developed Among Us, were all contacted for comment.

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