Many parents allow their little ones to play games on their iPhone or iPad. Those game apps can come in handy when you’re waiting to get a table at a restaurant and your preschooler is about to blow, but since Apple introduced “in-app purchases” last year, kids can easily order game apps all by themselves–on your dime.

It’s what happened to one Baristaville mom. She read this article about kids going on shopping sprees in iPhone games and decided to check her credit card statement:

We looked at our app purchases and found that our 5-year-old had bought $130 worth of gems, shiny chests and vials of stars and coins for what we thought were FREE iPhone games! We called Apple  and got refunded, but what a scam.

I stopped letting my 3-year-old play on my iPhone after she thought it would be fun to put it in the sink. I discovered it while loading the dishwasher. I had to buy a new phone and I haven’t ordered any games. I told her she broke the fun phone and she can’t use this one. Although, I spent way more money replacing it than she would have spent ordering game apps. 

 Have you checked your statement? Has your kid gone an a spending spree?

(Photo: Flickr/Marc van der Chijs)
(Excerpt photo: Flickr/novemberwolf)

8 replies on “Kids and iPhones or iPads: Check Your Credit Card Statements”

  1. I have both and iphone and an ipad. In order to buy an ap from the ap store you need a password. So I’m guessing these parents have told their children the password…
    I’d hold on tight to my ATM card if I where them.

  2. lostnewyorker,

    According to the article,”there is no password challenge if the owner has entered the password in the last 15 minutes for any reason. That means that if a user enters the password for a purchase or a free app upgrade, then hands the phone or iPad over to a kid, the child will not be stopped by a password prompt.”

  3. My apology I didn’t see the original link in the story. No matter what, I find it ridiculous to let a kid so young tool around on the internet games or no games you never know where they can end up.
    It’s funny years back parents freaked when their kids had “instant message’. I heard all of these rules and a whole new lingo was created by the kids so parents didn’t know what they were talking about. So what happened? They gave them cell phones with texting and now there is basically no control. The bar continues to be lowered.

  4. Herb- I totally agree with you. I had two phone meet their maker when my son then 2 tossed them into the toilet. I was not letting him play with it he just grabbed it off the counter. Now when my daughter asks to use my phone I say “no” . Why? Because it is mine and it is not a toy. We have a house full of toys.

  5. In this digital world its pretty easy to rack up huge bills and I am not only talking about iTunes but cell phones and other services (one click amazon anyone?) as well.

    As far as iTunes is affected, its pretty easy to control your expenses:

    a.) goto Account, edit Payment and remove your CC info and fund your account via iTunes gift cards

    b.) use another iTunes account with CC to fund your main account with a monthly allowance (see ‘But iTunes gifts’ on main page)

  6. CHRISTMAS WAGON – game on iphone/ipod touch

    Santa is coming this winter… All the way on the iphone and ipod Touch to shower you with fun and gifts… Help Santa control his wagon to collect gifts and deliver on time…

    The melodic music with all the jingles and twinkling sounds feel the joyous touch of your Christmas celebration with Christmas Wagon.

    Merry Christmas to all of you ho ho ho..

  7. You could also just go to settings and disable in-app purchases before you let your kids play with a cell phone. (to turn them back on requires a password)

    Man, what a non-story.

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