Well, boys will be boys, but this dad just found out how costly it was to let his son play Dragons: Rise of Berk game free version on his Apple iPhone courtesy iTunes! Sure, smartphones can be useful to gain important information, access social media or play games, and these apps are available from the Apple App Store or even Google Play Store, depending on whether you own an iPhone or an Android smartphone. However, some apps contain in-app purchases, which are usually in the form of micro-financial transactions. While these are usually small amounts, they can quickly add up, resulting in large bills for the user.
In one such incident, a UK parent reportedly ran up a large bill of $1,800 (nearly 1.3 lakh), when his 7-year-old son played a free video game on his Apple iPhone, according to Daily Mail. The game that was reportedly played included in-app purchases that were done by the child while playing the mobile game.
According to the report, the parent realised that the transactions has taken place after receiving a total bill of $1,800 in the form of 29 email receipts. The game, called ‘Dragons: Rise of Berk’ contains in-app purchases ranging from $2.60 to $138, and was used by the child as he played for an hour on the device.
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Faced with the large Apple iTunes bill, the child’s father eventually had to sell his Toyota Aygo in order to pay off the bill for the in-app purchases, according to the report. The father also filed a complaint with Apple store after which a refund of $287 was received.
However, the report does not explain how the child managed to bypass the authentication necessary for in-app purchases, either using an account password or using biometrics. These measures are actually put in place by the app stores to prevent such a scenario on smartphones, where children might run up huge bills on their parents’ devices.
In its statement to MailOnline, Apple said that while it did not comment on individual cases its ‘Ask to Buy’ feature was on by default for children under the age of 13.
In order to stay safe and prevent unauthorised purchases from users on smartphones, readers can follow this tip:
How to restrict in-app purchases on Android
Step 1) Go to the Google Play Store app.
Step 2) From the Google Play Store tap your profile icon on the top right corner of the screen.
Step 3) Now go to the Settings section.
Step 4) Search for and enable the setting titled ‘Require authentication for purchases’.
How to restrict in-app purchases on Apple iOS
Step 1) Go to the iOS Settings app.
Step 2) Tap on General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions.
Step 3) Enter your passcode to authenticate yourself.
Step 4) In the Restrictions menu, make sure the ‘In-App Purchases’ toggle is turned OFF.