A British policeman has reported his 13-year-old son for fraud after the boy ran up £3,700 ($5,621) bill playing iPad games.
Doug Crossan, 48, says he has been forced to take the drastic step after Apple refused to refund the bill after he told them his son Cameron was unaware he was being charged for the in-game purchases.
For their part, Apple have refused to cancel the charges pointing out that iPads contain password locks to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.
Now, the only way for Crossan to possibly get his money back is to report the purchases made on his credit card as fraudulent.
He has reported the purchases to Action Fraud, the national fraud center run by the National Fraud Authority, a Government agency. This could involve Cameron being arrested and questioned by police.
Crossan, of Somerset, maintains that his son didn’t know he was being charged.
“I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it, but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded,” he said.
He insists he isn’t trying to get his son arrested but wants to “embarrass Apple as much as possible,” adding, “morally, I just don’t understand where Apple gets off charging for a child’s game.”
Cameron has owned the Apple tablet computer since December but his father logged the details of his MBNA Virgin credit card with Apple when he himself used the device to download a music album.
Unfortunately for the elder Crossan, Cameron then racked up more than 300 purchases on games such as Plants vs Zombies, Hungry Shark, Gun Builder and Nova 3.
While most of these games are free to download users can buy in-game add-ons. In one game Cameron bought a virtual chest of gold coins costing £77.98 ($118.48 ).
Crossan says Apple “duped” his son into making the purchases and that there was no indication in the game to tell him he was being charged for the extras.
“He innocently thought that, because it was advertised as a free game, the clicks would not cost anything,” adding, “I am a father of a studious, polite and sensible 13-year-old who has been duped after uploading free children’s games on his iPod and iPad.”
The furious father only found out about Cameron’s spending when he canceled the direct debit for the credit card thinking he had a clear balance. Then MBNA Virgin contacted him to reveal more than £3,000 ($5000) still outstanding.
In the UK, when a person registers a case with Action Fraud the victim is issued with a police crime reference number and details are passed to the police.
From there, it is up to the police to decide if a crime has been committed and, if so, the person who reported the crime the opportunity to press charges.
Crossan is among an increasing number of parents who have been caught out by their children’s spending on iTunes.
Earlier this year The Inquisitr reported the story of Danny Kitchen, a five-year-old who ran up a £17,000 (£25,829) bill on his mom’s iPad, after buying extras for the Zombies v Ninja game.
In that case, his parents Greg and Sharon were refunded by Apple. The reason given was that the purchases were innocent and made over a very short space of time.
Apple’s App Store is currently the most popular online market in the world, offering more than 775,000 apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.
For Crossan, however, Apple’s fortunes are of little concern. He says Cameron is mortified at what’s happened and wonders how many others have “suffered at the hands of these apps?”