Teen Runs Up $7.6K Bill Playing Xbox

He's claiming ignorance over Dad's credit card bill
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2016 4:48 PM CST
Dad Shocked When Teen Spends $7,600 Playing Xbox
A Canadian teen racked up more than $7,600 in charges on his father's credit card while playing a FIFA game on his Xbox.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

A Canadian kid is in deep poutine after charging more than $7,600 onto his father's credit card while playing a FIFA video game on his Xbox, the CBC reports. Lance Perkins says he was "floored" when he got the bill Dec. 23. Perkins' 17-year-old son told him he thought he was using the credit card—given to him for emergencies—for a one-time, in-game payment. "He's just as sick as I am, [because] he never believed he was being charged for every transaction, or every time he went onto the game," Perkins says. But Nick Schwartz at USA Today isn't buying it. "That sounds like something a 17-year-old would tell a father who doesn’t understand how microtransactions work," he writes. "You can’t spend $7,600 in FIFA by mistake."

Regardless, an expert tells the CBC that it's increasingly common for children to make in-app or in-game purchases, and it's often unclear when users are paying actual money within a game. It's a problem affecting even our biggest rap stars. "[Expletive] any game company that puts in-app purchases on kids games!!!" Kanye West tweeted in October after North apparently racked up some charges. While Xbox is looking into the charges, Perkins was told by his credit card company he would have to pay the bill unless he wanted to charge his son with fraud. Perkins doesn't say he plans to do that, but Ubergizmo reports one UK father did take that option in 2013 to avoid paying $5,600 in Apple in-app purchases made by his 13-year-old son. (A 5-year-old boy exposed an Xbox Live security bug.)

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