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Thursday, September 20, 2012

i-O-U: Schoolboy, 6, runs up £2,000 credit card bill playing Tiny Monsters app on grandfather's iPad

By ALEX WARD

A schoolboy has unwittingly racked up a £2,000 credit card bill playing an online game on his grandfather’s iPad. Six-year-old Will Smith was innocently playing the popular children’s video game Tiny Monsters until his grandfather Barry Slatter, 55, was contacted by the fraud squad.
The family was unaware of little Will’s huge spending spree until his grandmother tried to use the credit card at Tesco, only to have it declined.

Costly gaming: Six-year-old Will Smith played popular children's online game Tiny Monsters on his grandfather's iPad racking up a £2,000 credit card bill

When the fraud squad contacted Mr Slatter, of Redcar, North Yorkshire, he was horrified to discover the bill spent on the app.
Tiny Monsters is a ‘breeding’ game where gamers collect and create monsters to fill their virtual island.
While the game is free to download the app has 'premium currency' which gamers can buy using real money.
According to the website of TinyCo, the game's creator: 'Premium Currency can be used on limited edition items, speeding up the game, and other extras.'
Using his grandfather’s iTunes password, Will bought virtual food and coins costing up to £70 each while playing different levels on the game to reach the Dark Monster.

Horrified: Grandfather Barry Slatter, left, was stunned when the fraud squad contacted him about the bill Will had incurred playing Tiny Monsters, pictured on iPad screen

Mr Slatter told The Mirror: ‘I must have synced my credit card up with the App Store and Will has just been pressing buttons buying baskets of food and coins for his monsters.
‘I can’t believe how easy it is for kids to buy things. Will’s only six.’
Mr Slatter said he explained the situation to Apple who agreed to a refund.
Will’s mother Nicola, 32, said: ‘Will was really upset – he was about to reach Level 26 and fight the Dark Monster.’

To reach the Dark Monster: Will used Mr Slatter's iTunes password to buy virtual food and coins costing up to £70 each while playing

Earlier this year another six-year-old, Jake Sadler from Portsmouth, managed to spend £1,000 of his parent’s money buying 'pretend gold' to play the Zombie Takeover game - free to download - on his mother's iPad.
Similarly, his parents only became aware of the charges when their bank’s fraud team contacted them over concerns with 'unusual activity' on their account.
Mother Gemma Sadler then discovered Jake had managed to input the password to their debit card.

Play with 'real money': The game, Tiny Monsters, is free to download but 'premium currency' which buys game extras can be bought using real money

She said: 'We had no idea Jake even knew our password or how he'd even got onto our card details. But then it dawned on us that the game he was playing is linked to our iTunes account and our card is on that.’
Parents whose children have accidentally run up huge bills playing games on their iPhones could be in line for compensation from Apple.
Campaigners are awaiting the result of a U.S. court case in which a group of disgruntled parents are suing the company after their children’s innocent game playing ended up costing a fortune.

Parents whose children have accidentally run up huge bills playing games on their iPhones could be in line for compensation from Apple

They accuse Apple of enticing children to spend money on iTunes. If the parents are successful, it could open the door for legal actions worldwide.
Apple, which is worth more than £311billion, has repeatedly been criticised for allowing children to spend hundreds of pounds on games using their parents’ iPhones.

source: dailymail



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