• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • 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. Mohit555's Avatar
      Mohit555 -
      Really? 13? At 13, i could hack into the snakes game that i had on my phone!
      Dont tell me that a 13 year old, unintentionally, can be so fatally stupid. Either its a lie, which sounds more likely.. Or he's retarded.
    1. MMX007's Avatar
      MMX007 -
      First of all:
      1. Apple should put a Cap/Limit on in-app or purchases within certain period of time similar way to CashPoint/ATM has fraud prevention system that detects unusual activity - because you're playing with real money.

      2. Every single purchase must be confirmed by entering the password regardless. In reality no one in their right mind would spend like this.

      SO Apple don't be so greedy. Get a f*****g grip. You have more cash lying around than the American government. Fact.

      I love Apple hardware but hate everything else about them. Sorry!
    1. HomerBoy's Avatar
      HomerBoy -
      Sorry, but this is sheer stupidity....

      13 year old boy doesn't know what he is doing? Maybe he should not get anywhere near that iPad....
    1. evolution83's Avatar
      evolution83 -
      the picture says to me that the kid knows exactly what he was doing, judging from his look and expression. he just looks like the type to start trouble and blame it on another source...
    1. PentaMedia's Avatar
      PentaMedia -
      Quote Originally Posted by tongxinshe View Post
      You don't have to continue investing into that game if you don't want to pay. It's like you have to upgrade your car if you think you are obliged to race with others, but you don't really have to win these kind of stuff. Parents giving teenagers enough power to possibly cause this kind of damage need to know their kids better. There are a ton methods other that the iTunes account that they can bring you big trouble (drive your car out for a on-street-racing?).
      Seriously, developing a game targeting say like a 3-8 year old audience SHOULD NOT have any in-app purchases. Anyone that thinks otherwise is either plain stupid, or is gaining from it. It's like letting a 3-8 year old get into a toy store and pick up stuffs and having it billed.
    1. kalpesh78's Avatar
      kalpesh78 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuanyu View Post
      Seriously? ... That's a lot of $$$!!
      The father is completely at fault here. A purchase is a purchase.
      Passwords to Itunes and istore accounts should never be shared with kids under a 18. (know your kid first)

      Prevention is better than cure.
    1. MikePA's Avatar
      MikePA -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      What an idiot, that kid was probably homeschooled.
      You win the dumba$$, bigoted and clueless remark of this thread. You clearly have no idea what far too many public school systems are like.
    1. DC_Dave's Avatar
      DC_Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by MMX007 View Post
      First of all:
      1. Apple should put a Cap/Limit on in-app or purchases within certain period of time similar way to CashPoint/ATM has fraud prevention system that detects unusual activity - because you're playing with real money.

      2. Every single purchase must be confirmed by entering the password regardless. In reality no one in their right mind would spend like this.

      SO Apple don't be so greedy. Get a f*****g grip. You have more cash lying around than the American government. Fact.

      I love Apple hardware but hate everything else about them. Sorry!
      Over the years, my daughter has occasionally gone over her mobile phone text and data allowance, costing me around 500. I have now switched to Tesco Mobile which have a capped tarrif where the texts,data or calls stop when you reach your limit. If the phone operators can do it, in sure Apple can introduce it in their next iTunes/AppStore update.

      The second thing I did, now my kids are older, was to remove my credit card off their iTunes accounts and they now use their own bank details and spend their own pocket money on it. They are now more careful what they buy!
    1. kalpesh78's Avatar
      kalpesh78 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DC_Dave View Post
      Over the years, my daughter has occasionally gone over her mobile phone text and data allowance, costing me around 500. I have now switched to Tesco Mobile which have a capped tarrif where the texts,data or calls stop when you reach your limit. If the phone operators can do it, in sure Apple can introduce it in their next iTunes/AppStore update.

      The second thing I did, now my kids are older, was to remove my credit card off their iTunes accounts and they now use their own bank details and spend their own pocket money on it. They are now more careful what they buy!
      Its unfair to do this. Parents should manage kids. Apple has nothing to do with it. Negligence is on behalf of the parents who allow kids to play with their kids. If i were apple I'd be happy that people are buying more and more apps from my store. How should I know if the ones who are downloading are millionaires or paupers who're going to cry about it later.

      I really don't think apple can do anything about it. that stupid cop/parent better pay.
    1. Albut's Avatar
      Albut -
      Happens more in UK than anywhere else. Here parents can't issue corporal punishment, nor can schools and the courts just let tell them off, even for serious crimes like burglary. We have a crap system for child guidance, and our present government leader David Cameron is as weak as all the others. He would probably support the child's actions.
    1. DC_Dave's Avatar
      DC_Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by kalpesh78 View Post
      Its unfair to do this. Parents should manage kids. Apple has nothing to do with it. Negligence is on behalf of the parents who allow kids to play with their kids. If i were apple I'd be happy that people are buying more and more apps from my store. How should I know if the ones who are downloading are millionaires or paupers who're going to cry about it later.

      I really don't think apple can do anything about it. that stupid cop/parent better pay.
      What is unfair?
      I buy my daughter for her 18th birthday an iPhone 4S on contract and pay all the bills myself and tell her to keep within the 600 minutes, 1000 texts and 1GB data.
      Over the 18 months of the contract, she occasionally went over these monthly allowances and even took the phone abroad.
      Also with my credit card linked to her iTunes account, I said that one or two songs/apps a week is fine. But this resulted in whole albums being purchased.
      In my opinion, putting her own bank details on iTunes and letting her then be in control of any over spend is a more responsible action and teaches her the need to managing her finances.
      I have been paying the phone contract and additional charges for both my kids for the last 10 years and have learnt that verbal restrictions do not always work. I suspect if the policeman's son had his own bank account linked to iTunes instead of his fathers credit card, he would have been more frugal with his in app purchases.
    1. lukinrats's Avatar
      lukinrats -
      This story aggravates the crap out of me. #1. It is not Apple's fault that this Dad is a Douchebag. #2. The kid is lying his arse off.

      First of all, if you have a child with an iDevice, then why in God's name would you give him your AppleStore login info, or your credit card? Kids are kids, and they have no concept of money, regardless of whether you think you have taught them or not. They want it bad enough, and have a way to pull it off, then they are going to get it.
      Apple iTunes offers everyone gift cards, as well as parental controls. On top of that, you (as a parent, guardian, whatever) can allocate an allowance for your children. It is under their own account, but the money is deducted from your account every month. I give my daughter an allowance and if she spends it all, she has to come back to me.
      In the end, it is the Dad's fault for not being a better parent, and at least checking into all the options available for purchasing entertainment. He probably just wanted the kid to leave him alone and be occupied so he gave him an iPad and an account. Making it un-necessary for him to spend quality time with the kid. He should not be accusing his son of fraud. What an A$$hole
    1. Villebilly's Avatar
      Villebilly -
      I like Dave's comment on handling his issue with his own kid. The problem is in our current society it is much more popular to avoid personal responsibility and much easier to blame someone else.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by lukinrats View Post
      This story aggravates the crap out of me. #1. It is not Apple's fault that this Dad is a Douchebag. #2. The kid is lying his arse off.

      First of all, if you have a child with an iDevice, then why in God's name would you give him your AppleStore login info, or your credit card? Kids are kids, and they have no concept of money, regardless of whether you think you have taught them or not. They want it bad enough, and have a way to pull it off, then they are going to get it.
      Apple iTunes offers everyone gift cards, as well as parental controls. On top of that, you (as a parent, guardian, whatever) can allocate an allowance for your children. It is under their own account, but the money is deducted from your account every month. I give my daughter an allowance and if she spends it all, she has to come back to me.
      In the end, it is the Dad's fault for not being a better parent, and at least checking into all the options available for purchasing entertainment. He probably just wanted the kid to leave him alone and be occupied so he gave him an iPad and an account. Making it un-necessary for him to spend quality time with the kid. He should not be accusing his son of fraud. What an A$$hole
      This is why the in app purchases should be off by default
    1. PoEtikly's Avatar
      PoEtikly -
      Quote Originally Posted by tridley68 View Post
      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.
      Y E A H ! You....you....jerk.
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      1) You said certain games make you purchase items etc to progress in the game and that this is wrong, the flip side being, not purchasing items is right (getting them free).

      2&3) The main concern is the exploitation of children and those who do not know better. Rather than wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them from the evil developers, why not educate the children so that they DO know better and fully understand the consequences of their actions? Otherwise they'll just be scammed and exploited by the next con to come along. If they're too young to understand these consequences then to me they're too young to be using the device in that way and should be supervised by the parent.