Seven-Year-Old Spends Over £3,900 on Jurassic World: The Game

Just when you thought you had heard the last of stories about children unknowingly racking up massive bills on in-app purchases in casual free*-to-play games, along comes the tale of seven-year-old Faisall Shugaa of Crawley, England and Ludia’s Jurassic World: The Game for iOS. As The Daily Mail mentions, little Faisall not only knew the passcode to his dad’s iPad, but also happened to memorize his Apple ID as well, allowing him to make a whopping £3,911 (roughly $5,797 American) in in-game purchases for upgrades and “Dino Bucks,” the game’s signature currency used in the progression of building and managing one’s own virtual dinosaur theme park.

While Mohamed Shugaa, the father, did report the charges as soon as he learned about them and eventually received a full refund from Apple, he called them out for not sending him any notifications or mentions of flagged purchases concerning the 65 microtransactions his son had made over a mere five days, including £1500 in a single hour, which Apple apparently didn’t find suspicious at all. Mr. Shugaa also pointed out that his son obviously didn’t know the value of money at such a young age and Faisall apparently didn’t even know he was using real currency, also promising to delete all of the dinosaurs he had purchased.

This nightmarish scenario for the Shugaas may have been sorted out, but indeed, one wonders when companies like Apple will – if ever – enact tighter security and restrictions on such large groups of purchases, and if “casual” games like these will ever stop encouraging such rampant spending. Looking at you, Mobile Strike, and your “send a dozen choppers when one will do” spiel.