The report about the young teenage boy who spent a whopping $46,000 on in-game purchases was seen on the Belgian news site Nieuwsblad. According to the report, the boy is said to have bought the game's gold using his grandfather's credit card. His mother says that he did know that he was spending real money.
The game that the boy was playing is known as the "Game of War: Fire Age," an online strategy game. In the game, the player can buy packs of 20,000 gold for $100.
The boy learned about the credit card details when the mother asked his help in setting up her tablet to download eBooks. After doing so, the boy admitted to linking the credit card to his own iTunes account and purchased in-game gold. He then made a lot of purchases which had reached a total amount of $46,000 in credit card charges. This would mean that the boy purchased more than 9 million gold pieces.
The way how in-game purchases can be made with just one click is recalled by the boy's mother. "You only have to click once to make a purchase and real money is being spent, which was exactly what he did again and again, not knowing how much money he was actually spending as nothing shows what the amount is that you already paid."
In recent times, there has been a growing concern on the messaging that is conveyed by in-app purchases in games which claim to be "free to play." The European Commission strongly recommends that such type of apps should no longer be labeled as 'free.' So far, Google's App Store has observed the new rules by changing its policies. Apple, which has yet to follow suit, has intervened in the past on cases when children have made huge in-app purchases beyond the knowledge of their parents.
With the case of the boy from Belgium, the mother claims that she came to learn that her son was doing all the purchases only a few months later. As she recalled how the boy used the credit card, her account revealed that the boy bears the name 'Robin.'
"When I was planning to go on vacation, I asked Robin to install some e-books on my tablet, something I don't know how to do myself. To buy these books I have given him the credit card of my father," said the boy's mother.
There is a possibility that Apple would refund the massive in-game purchases made by the boy. Earlier this year, Apple has agreed with the FTC's advisory on paying back more than 32 million to parents of children who have overspent using their iOS devices.