Hanover, Feb. 8, 2021 – A mother in Germany got a nasty surprise after letting her 7-year-old son play a game on her mobile phone.
The boy splurged 2,753.91 euros ($3,314) on in-app purchases, according to a statement from the consumer advice centre in the state of Lower Saxony, released to mark ‘Safer Internet Day’.
The child had been given permission to play the colourful online game and his mother had given him access to a voucher with a small amount of credit to spend.
What she forgot was that her credit card was attached to the account.
The statement said her son had continued to play the game in secret.
Kathrin Koerber, a legal expert with the state consumer body, said German law only allows for children to make purchases without parental permission within the limits of their pocket money – so in such cases, it is worth challenging the bill.
Following a letter sent to the company on her behalf, the bulk of the mother’s bill – 2,654.31 euros – was dropped, Koerber added.
She noted that it was common, particularly during the coronavirus lockdown, for parents to hand their smartphones over to children to keep them occupied.
But she warned people to check their settings before they do so.
Safer Internet Day, taking place on Tuesday is an annual event to raise awareness about issues such as cyber bullying, social networking and digital identity.