• 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. iDom's Avatar
      iDom -
      If you do not know that whenever iTunes is asking for your account password to make a purchase you are ACTUALLY spending money, then you are brainless and you should be banned from using ANY electronic device.

      Cop son or not, this is ridiculous.
      It's just like begging for one's right to utter stupidity.

      Go to $ch00l and learn to READ!!!

      If you do not know that whenever iTunes is asking for your account password to make a purchase you are ACTUALLY spending money, then you are brainless and you should be banned from using ANY electronic device.

      Cop son or not, this is ridiculous.
      It's just like begging for one's right to utter stupidity.

      Go to $ch00l and learn to READ!!!
    1. radioBirdman's Avatar
      radioBirdman -
      Daddy pig is going to be disappointed when Baby pig can't get a decent job in future thanks to that fraud charged he copped.
    1. Albut's Avatar
      Albut -
      Apple need to get a grip of this, but really it's the parents fault for lack of supervision. Especially here in the UK where kids are responsible for most crime and our magistrates and judges are the weakest in the world. So no deterrant.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      What an idiot, that kid was probably homeschooled. 13 year olds know roght from wrong, I hope the father punishes that kid. The 5600 comes from the rat's college account
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      The dad is a moron...and the kid is just stupid for doing that! I guarantee the kid knew what he was doing and thought it would be funny....but it didn't turn out that way. Both deserve a beating and should be held reliable.
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      ******** family. Should have an additional $5600 surcharge for being so stupid. All my kids have iOS devices. Even at 8 yrs old, they knew about In App Purchases and that they are not to buy any of it. And yes, they do have my iTunes password. They still ask me before downloading a free app too.
    1. H4CK3R's Avatar
      H4CK3R -
      He's 13 years old and he should have enough common sense to see that it costs real money, probably why Apple won't refund him. For a 5 year old, it's a bit more understandable IMO.
    1. AGIAMIU's Avatar
      AGIAMIU -
      Quote Originally Posted by XenoSaber View Post
      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.

      Totally agree with you!
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      I hope that now the father has openly admitted to reporting his son for fraud, with the sole intention of receiving a refund from Apple, that he gets fined for wasting police time with what should be a domestic matter.
    1. SJPajek's Avatar
      SJPajek -
      If that's the worst mistake the kid ever makes the father should consider himself LUCKY!
    1. BhadKarma's Avatar
      BhadKarma -
      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
      Hahaha same type thought crossed my mind
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      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.
      I disagree, Apple is responsible for creating this environment that developers are clearly taking advantage of. I have nothing against in-app purchases in and of themselves, but when they are put in games that are clearly aimed at young audiences, then it feels just like those 1-900 numbers you had all over television programming for children in the 70's, 80's, and some of the 90's iirc. The fact that anyone could accumulate anywhere near a sum like that in a game is a problem in and of it self. Developers taking advantage the "getting the high score" style of competition (a la old-school arcades) to motivate such spending in order to get the edge in the game is another.
    1. BhadKarma's Avatar
      BhadKarma -
      The kid knew. He knew better. He can read properly I bet also. Just another 'bad kid' like we all were ....
    1. AdonisBlue's Avatar
      AdonisBlue -
      He dose not deserve a refund, he needs to wake up and accept responsibility! It was his ipad, his itunes account, his credit card so it is also his problem. Not the kids and not Apple's, period!
    1. AGIAMIU's Avatar
      AGIAMIU -
      Dumm and Dummer
    1. LoganKal's Avatar
      LoganKal -
      13 really, he should have known better, parents need to SUPERVISE THEM or don't let them use the unit, simple as that.. oh here's one put an itunes card on your account NOT your credit card. really. stupid *** people
    1. GrumpySod's Avatar
      GrumpySod -
      Parents that allow their kids to do this should be put in jail for pure stupidity! With how much this has been in the press lately there is no reason for this! And 13yrs old he knew dam well what he was doing!
    1. XweAponX's Avatar
      XweAponX -
      This is why it is incredibly dangerous to set up your iPhone/Pad/etc to not insist on your cloud password for every access to the store, even updates. I WANT iTunes to ask for my password each time I buy an app or download an update.

      There is s cYdia app that automatically implants your store/cloud password: And unless you have a bottomless wallet, I highly suggest you not install that.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      the In-App Purchases should be switched off by default and the Require Password should be defaulted to be required Immediately

      but they'll not do that because then they wouldn't make **** loads of money by people making accidental purchases
    1. tongxinshe's Avatar
      tongxinshe -
      Quote Originally Posted by jonathan1683 View Post
      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.
      Do you ever read before making your conclusion? He spent that sum over 300 transactions, including buying different apps and making in-app purchases in different apps.
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