A 7-year-old boy spent well over $5,000 playing Jurassic World on his dad’s iPad; however, the dad will be getting his money back, The Metro is reporting.
Faisall Shugga of Crawley, England is likely to be grounded until he’s probably 16 or so, thanks to his spending spree.
— The Sun (@TheSun) December 30, 2015
At the very least, his dad, Mohamed, will be a little more careful with his Apple ID password from now on.
Mohamed Shugga, a 32-year-old carpet store owner, first learned something was amiss with his bank account when he tried to make a purchase from a supplier, and the transaction was denied by his bank. He called his bank and found out, to his surprise and horror, that 65 transactions had been made to Apple between December 13 and December 18.
He then called Apple’s fraud department, where he learned that all of those transactions were spent on Jurassic World. Right away, Mohamed knew that his son was to blame.
Mohamed says he knew that his son knew the passcode to unlock his dad’s iPad: a simple, four-digit code. Apparently, Faisall was either super-observant or super-sneaky as he also managed to memorize his father’s Apple ID, which he then used to make the in-app purchases that would ultimately cost his dad quite a bit of money.
How much money did the young lad blow on his game? According to The Epoch Times, young Faisall managed to rack up £3,911 ($5,767.55) by using in-game “Dino Bucks” to upgrade his dinosaurs and other aspects of the game. Being only 7 years old, he apparently didn’t realize he was spending real money. At one point, he managed to spend around $2,000 in one hour.
— Trends Today App (@trendstodayapp) January 1, 2016
Mohamed found that Apple’s customer support was less than sympathetic.
“I was so mad. I’m 32 years old, why would Apple think I would be spending thousands of pounds on buying dinosaurs and upgrading a game? Why didn’t they email me to check I knew these payments were being made? I got nothing from them. How much longer would it have gone on for?”
Mohamed demanded a refund, and was told at first that there was no guarantee that he would get one. However, he eventually convinced the tech giant that he needed the money to buy Christmas gifts for his kids, and the company agreed to refund his money.
Faisall is not the first child to rack up an impressive bill by using a parent’s mobile device. In fact, several news reports throughout the years have detailed instances of kids running bills in the thousands using their parents’ mobile devices. While some of those purchases have been the result of a kid pressing random buttons until something horrible happened (such as the baby who somehow bought a car on her dad’s cell phone), the culprit is usually games.
Spencer Whitman of app protection firm AppCertain told The Daily Mail in 2013 how app developers are able to squeeze money out of adults — and, especially children — through “in-app purchases.”
“[Mobile games] often include in-app purchases hidden behind the free price tag. Either they offer a small amount of play, then charge for continued use; offer in-app purchases for more in-game content such as extra areas of play or upgrades; or they constantly interrupt game play to ask for in-app purchases.”
Children don’t always understand that they’re spending real money, or don’t understand how much money they’re spending, and app developers rake in the money.
On its website, Apple reminds parents to be extra diligent about keeping their passwords from their kids.
“Our parents’ guide to iTunes details the steps adults can take to make sure younger players have access to the right content. The first thing we recommend is not to share your password.”
Needless to say, Faisall Shugga’s days of playing Jurassic World on his dad’s iPad are likely over.
[Image via Shutterstock/Solis Images]