6 Apps Kids Spend The Most Money on In-App Purchases
In April, a court ruled that Amazon had unlawfully charged customers over $70 million for in-app purchases made by children. Parents argued that Amazon made it too easy for a child to make an in-app purchase without getting permission from the child’s parent or guardian first. Amazon isn’t the only company that has had to defend themselves against these allegations—parents have also made similar complaints about Apple and Google.
Unfortunately, all three of these companies make it far too easy for a child to rack up thousands of dollars in charges on his parents’ credit card. How can you prevent this from happening to you? First, learn where your kids may be making in-app purchases. Here’s a list of the top six apps that could be costing you:
A story about a 7-year-old boy who spent thousands of dollars on the Jurassic Park app recently made headlines around the world. The app, which is based on the movie of the same name, gives users the option to upgrade the dinosaurs they play with. There’s just one catch—these upgrades cost money.
In this particular case, the child ended up spending $6,000 on in-app purchases before his parents found out. It turns out that the child was completely unaware that he was spending real money every time he agreed to upgrade his dinosaurs. Since he was playing a game, he assumed the money that was being exchanged was all fake. Fortunately, Apple agreed to refund the parents’ money back, but they had to wait 10 long days before the thousands of dollars were returned.
Many children have become addicted to the Minecraft app, especially those who are between the ages of 8 and 15. Minecraft users can build their own virtual worlds within the game using building blocks, natural resources, and of course, a little imagination. Earlier this year, Minecraft added in-app purchases to the game to make it more interesting for users.
Now, users can pay for Minecraft currency, which can then be used to purchase items within the game such as maps and access to different worlds. Parents should know that kids who are already addicted to this game may be tempted to make in-app purchases in order to enhance their gaming experience.
Angry Birds 2
The original Angry Birds app could be downloaded for a small fee, and did not include any opportunities to make in-app purchases. However, Angry Birds 2 gives users a chance to pay for extra lives that can be used to get further in the game. If you don’t want to pay for extra lives, then you are forced to wait until a certain amount of time has passed and your lives are replenished. Kids who enjoy Angry Birds 2 may not be patient enough to wait for new lives, so they may end up making an in-app purchase so they can continue to play.
Kids aren’t the only ones who love Candy Crush—people of all ages enjoy this game. The further that you go within the game, the more challenging that it becomes. Kids who find themselves stuck on a certain level have the option of making an in-app purchase to help them out. For example, kids can buy extra time or moves so they have a few more chances to try to beat a level. This game can be incredibly addicting, so kids may make purchase after purchase without realizing how quickly it is adding up.
Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans is a single or multiplayer game that is set in a fantasy world. Users must fight other players within the game in order to gain the resources that they need to build their own virtual world. Another way users can get their hands on resources is by making in-app purchases to buy Gems, which is the currency in this fantasy world. Buying Gems can speed up a user’s progress in the game, which is why many kids are drawn to the idea. Like many other games, Clash of Clans uses fake currency within the game, which may confuse kids who don’t understand that they are using real money to pay for the purchases.
Puzzle & Dragons
This app is a puzzle video game that keeps kids entertained by incorporating role-playing and strategy elements as well. Users have to complete different puzzles in order to determine how strong their monsters will be during attacks against other players’ monsters. But, that’s not the only option kids have to build up their army of monsters. Kids can also make in-app purchases to strengthen their monsters, gain access to rare monsters, or reach new, more challenging levels.
This is just a small sample of the thousands of apps featuring in-app purchase opportunities that are available for download in the app store. How can parents protect their bank accounts? By downloading the TeenSafe Control app. TeenSafe Control gives parents the power to control how their kids use their smartphones. One feature on this app allows parents to turn off all in-app purchases, which means kids won’t be able to spend any money while playing apps on their phones. With this app, parents can finally regain control of how their money is spent!