Surprise "In-App" Charges To Your Credit Card

If you are a parent whose child plays games on a smartphone or other electronic device, you should be aware that these games can result in high charges on your credit card. The culprit: in-app purchases. An in-app purchase is a purchase made from within an on-line game for additional features, upgrades and other add-ons. The app might be free to download, but it might be far from free to play it. Sometimes these apps have clear warnings that you need to spend additional money, but sometimes they do not. All it often takes is a tap of a button for a child to make all the charges they want. And if your credit card is already linked to your mobile device, as it usually is, your account will be charged and you will be liable for the purchases.

Some of these apps range in cost from 99¢ to $99.00 and it is not uncommon for these purchases to quickly rack up to a bill in the thousands of dollars. In a July 2013 article, the Huffington Post reported that twin 7-year old boys charged $3,000 on their mother’s credit card bill by playing one game on her iPad.

Depending on which device you have, there are parental controls that you can enable to restrict unwanted purchases. Before you hand over your mobile device for your child to play a game, you might want to research the type of controls your mobile device offers and check whether your credit card is linked to that device. Be vigilant about what your child, or even you, is downloading. And of course, you can always check your credit card activity before you receive your monthly statement to ensure there are no surprise charges. If you have a CSE VISA card, you can use our Telephone Teller service to doublecheck your card balance and charges any time you want.

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