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  • 13-Year Old Son of U.K. Policeman Generates $5600 iTunes Bill, Father Reports Fraud

    Image via SWNS

    At the beginning of March, we told you about a 5-year old U.K. boy that ran up a $2500 in-app purchase bill for his parents on their iPad in under 15 minutes. Today, a 13-year old U.K. boy doubles this milestone; the 13-year old boy managed to generate a $5600 iTunes bill for his 48-year old father, Doug Crossan, who is a U.K. policeman. The son, of course, claimed that he didn't know he was really being charged.

    According to Dailymail, the father contacted Apple to attempt to get a refund for the $5600 that was unintentionally spent. Apple refused to give the father back the money, and so the father reported his son to the local police for fraud.

    The son could potentially end up arrested and brought in for questioning; however, the father notes that this may be the only way he could actually get any type of refund from Apple. Notably, Apple didn't appear to have a problem refunding the parents of the 5-year old boy that spent $2500 on in-app purchases by mistake at the beginning of March.

    Some of the games the 13-year old downloaded in-app purchase content from include the popular Plants vs. Zombies, which went free just last month, Gun Builder, Hungry Shark, and Nova 3. Citing Dailymail, there were over 300 different transactions.

    The problem again appears to stem from lack of parental supervision; however, another source of the problem comes from the ease of in-app purchase mistakes, which is the reason Apple is now trying to make it more obvious when applications have in-app purchases that actually do cost money, whether the application is free or not. These kinds of 'freemium' applications are becoming more popular, freemium refers to an application being free while unlocking parts of the game still calls for spending real money.

    At this point in time, the father remains $5600 poorer than he was before the mistake. It is unclear if the father will ever see his money again or not. Hopefully next time the father will take better advantage of the parental controls on the iPad and keep more supervision on the 13-year old boy while he uses it if hes even allowed to anymore. The 5-year old boy involved in the $2500 in-app purchase bill earlier this month was no longer allowed to use his parents' iPad after his mistake.

    Sources: Dailymail via Cult of Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 13-Year Old Son of Policeman Generates $5600 iTunes Bill, Father Reports Fraud started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 76 Comments
    1. shahab86's Avatar
      shahab86 -
      Is there some kind of competition going on that I Dont know about.... Who can get the highest iTunes Bill of em all
    1. Sage I's Avatar
      Sage I -
      Wow... It's like the kid was tying to top the last UK kids "high score" He was probably thinking "I can make the news around the world for the most in app purchases, and then I'll say it was an accident, I didn't know I was buying those things... And then apple will refund my daddy." Guaranteed the kid knew exactly what he was doing... If my future children do that stuff I'm gonna make them pay for every last penny they spent... Teach them a lesson... This kid should pay it all back, it's a good life lesson...
    1. Gom33's Avatar
      Gom33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by shahab86 View Post
      Is there some kind of competition going on that I Dont know about.... Who can get the highest iTunes Bill of em all

      exactly why i uy itunes card instead of putting my cc info.
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      What I want to know is why would you give a 13 yr old the ability to spend $5600 unsupervised in the first place?
    1. Chad711's Avatar
      Chad711 -
      The kid needs his *** kicked and the dad needs to pay the bill. Lesson learned for both of them. Maybe be a little more dialed into your childs every day life might help too.
    1. dragon x's Avatar
      dragon x -
      There is no other source to the problem. It's still lack of parenting. My 8 year old knowns he's not allowed to make any purchases without asking first. In-app or otherwise.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Why are there apps with in app purchases that don't notify you your being charged

      he's claimed fraud from the wrong person.(which is a bit harsh seen as its his own son). These apps are the ones defrauding people, the creators and Apple should be liable
    1. AGIAMIU's Avatar
      AGIAMIU -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      Why are there apps with in app purchases that don't notify you your being charged

      he's claimed fraud from the wrong person.(which is a bit harsh seen as its his own son). These apps are the ones defrauding people, the creators and Apple should be liable
      Did you ever purchased an app from iTunes?! It looks like you didn't. Apple has no responsibility or liability. Parent watch your kids and don't leave your parental control guard down. At the end the iTunes is like a wallet full of money left open to be used. Put passwords, set securities and these kind of things will never occur. We never learn from others mistake and eventually will come back to hunt us.
    1. jonathan1683's Avatar
      jonathan1683 -
      Apple should have some kind of fraud detection built into these apps who the hell would spend 5k on virtual plants, and why would any company be allowed to exploit someone with that kind of charge. Apple needs to make limits on how much people can spend on plants. Unless the owner opts-in to that type of charge. Parents know nothing about electronics and kids are idiots. Apple needs to protect people from themselves sadly.
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      Quote Originally Posted by dsg View Post
      Why are there apps with in app purchases that don't notify you your being charged

      he's claimed fraud from the wrong person.(which is a bit harsh seen as its his own son). These apps are the ones defrauding people, the creators and Apple should be liable
      Itunes does notify you of every purchase.
    1. rickuk's Avatar
      rickuk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chad711 View Post
      The kid needs his *** kicked and the dad needs to pay the bill. Lesson learned for both of them. Maybe be a little more dialed into your childs every day life might help too.

      As he in the UK he actually needs his ar*e kicked [American English/British English]
    1. XenoSaber's Avatar
      XenoSaber -
      I don't know, 13? By 13 these days, kids can hack into things and understand technology quite well. I don't buy it. I think he did know exactly what he was doing. The 5 year old, sure, I can see that. My 2 1/2 yr old has purchase stuff on my phone accidentally, so I can buy 5, but 13, no way! And after looking at the picture again, he does look kind of shifty to me.

    1. BrainSmashR's Avatar
      BrainSmashR -
      If he wasn't a pig I might feel sorry for they guy, but facts are facts. He's too busy harassing people to take care of his own family
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Restrictions on. In app purchases off. Require password immediately (default is 15 mins I think). And don't tell your kids your password. This is how I have setup my kids iPads.
    1. kuanyu's Avatar
      kuanyu -
      Seriously? ... That's a lot of $$$!!
    1. bcon1208's Avatar
      bcon1208 -
      Yes reporting your son to the police as a fraud suspect definitely sounded like the right move. Considering it wasn't fraud, I believe this is also a false report. FYI, being a bad parent is not something you can blame the child for.
    1. lizzy954's Avatar
      lizzy954 -
      Quote Originally Posted by BrainSmashR View Post
      If he wasn't a pig I might feel sorry for they guy, but facts are facts. He's too busy harassing people to take care of his own family
      Amen ! So well said !!

      Amazing how he is pressing charges against his son
      to avoid paying the charges,,,,smh!

      Thanks !
    1. tridley68's Avatar
      tridley68 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bcon1208 View Post
      Yes reporting your son to the police as a fraud suspect definitely sounded like the right move. Considering it wasn't fraud, I believe this is also a false report. FYI, being a bad parent is not something you can blame the child for.

      let this be a lesson jerk watch your kid and this would not happen .

      dumb azz cop thinks he is aboue the laws why would you give the kid free roam on the i pad jerk.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by AGIAMIU View Post
      Did you ever purchased an app from iTunes?! It looks like you didn't. Apple has no responsibility or liability. Parent watch your kids and don't leave your parental control guard down. At the end the iTunes is like a wallet full of money left open to be used. Put passwords, set securities and these kind of things will never occur. We never learn from others mistake and eventually will come back to hunt us.

      what are you taking about, when you've made your purchase start using the app/game and you make an unknown purchase in the time zone while the password is still active, thats what I'm talking about, the little bit where you're not warned

      Edit: and the reason I believe it's fraudulent, is because the password staying active should be something that is switched on by the user so you can't make unwanted purcahses by accident. It shouldn't be switched on by default

      Edit: 2 Freemium apps should be banned
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      If I was ever any party in this type of situation I'd NEVER post my face in some news article.