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Online Games: Six-Year Child Reportedly Spends Over ₦6 Million In The Apple App Store

Online Games: Six-Year Child Reportedly Spends Over ₦6 Million In The Apple App Store

A six-year-old child has reportedly amassed more than $16,000 (approx. ₦6 million) in charges at the Apple App Store while playing games. According to the information, the boy, identified as George Johnson spent the money during this past summer on in-app purchases while playing his favourite game, 'Sonic Force.'

Johnson's Mum, a real-estate broker who resides in Wilton Connecticut had no idea her youngest son was spending all that money via her iPad. The story was published on Sunday by the New York Post.

During July this year, George was purchasing add-boosters starting at $1.99 for red rings and $99.99 for gold rings. These purchases, which were amounting to hundreds of dollars gave his character more speed and other special abilities.

'On one occasion in July, when her son was ringing up 25 charges adding up to $2,500, Jessica was in the very next room unaware that her son was using her money to pay for in-app purchases, ' Phone Arena reports.

She did notice amounts like $601 and $562 disappearing from her Chase account, but she chalked it up to fraud or a mistake and when she called the bank to get to the bottom of the matter, she was confused because the charges were not itemized. 

'The way the charges get bundled made it almost impossible [to figure out that] they were from a game,' Jessica said. The mother of the first grader said, "It’s like my 6-year-old was doing lines of cocaine — and doing bigger and bigger hits."

When Jessica discovered Apple and PayPal were withdrawing hefty sums — $562 here, $601 there — from her Chase account, she assumed it was a mistake or fraud and called the bank, confused by the unitemized charges. “The way the charges get bundled made it almost impossible [to figure out that] they were from a game,” she said.
Online Games: Six-Year Child Reportedly Spends Over ₦6 Million In The Apple App Store
Sonic Forces video game - Source nypost.com

Still clueless that it was George’s doing, Jessica filed a fraud claim in July when her bill reached $16,293.10 — but it wasn’t until October that she was told by Chase that the charges were indeed hers and she needed to contact Apple.

On the possibility of getting back her money

Apple said, ‘Tough.’ They told me that, because I didn’t call within 60 days of the charges, that they can’t do anything,” said Jessica. “The reason I didn’t call within 60 days is because Chase told me it was likely fraud — that PayPal and Apple.com are top fraud charges.

Jessica got no sympathy from a customer service agent, even after confessing that she wouldn’t be able to pay her family’s mortgage. “They’re like, ‘There’s a setting, you should have known,’ ” she recalled.

When Jessica explained to George what he had done, he promised to pay her back indicating that at his age, the concept of money remains foreign to him. She had to tell George that she doesn't know about Christmas this year. One thing that she does believe is that Apple is at fault. 

As Jessica pointed out, "My son didn’t understand that the money was real. How could he? He’s playing a cartoon game in a world that he knows is not real. Why would the money be real to him? That would require a big cognitive leap."

She’s now scrambling to pay off his debt. “I didn’t get a paycheck from March to September,” said the mom, who works on commission. “My ­income has decreased by 80 per cent this year.

I may have to force this kid to pay me back in 15 years when he gets his first job.

Featured image credit: Pixabay
Source: https://nypost.com/2020/12/12/this-6-year-old-racked-up-over-16k-on-his-moms-credit-card/
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