Unfortunately for real-estate broker Jessica Johnson, she did not have such preventive measures put into place which ultimately resulted in her son, 6-year old George Johnson, racking up a $16,000 bill in in-app purchases on her credit over the course of the entire summer.
The game in question is Sonic Forces where George initially started buying $1.99 booster packs before graduating to the more expensive $99.99 packs. In one day alone, there were 25 charges that totalled to more than $2,500. Jessica initially thought that these were fraudulent transactions and reached out to her bank at Chase, only to be told later that these charges were indeed made by her and that she needed to contact Apple about it.
Apple later told her that these were in-app purchases made in the game, which was when she realized that it was all made by her son. However, she was essentially told that it was “too late” as she did not call them within the 60 days that the charges were made. While she is understandably upset with her son, she believes that the blame lies with Apple.
According to Jessica, “My son didn’t understand that the money was real. How could he? He’s playing a cartoon game in a world that he knows is not real. Why would the money be real to him? That would require a big cognitive leap.”