We had a call this week from my brother who is a graphic designer and works with us on some of our designs for printed publications and adverts.

He was in a panic having just viewed his credit card bill with a charge of £70 itemised as “in-App Purchases".

He had downloaded a game onto his iPhone for one of his children “Clash of the Clans” which was free to download. He then gave the phone to his son to get on and play the game. What he had not realised was that you need "Gold" to buy items for the game and this costs “real money” which is charged to the credit card used to sign up to receive apps on your phone.

My brother said, “I thought it was an error at first and called my credit card company to complain. Apparently, I was not the first parent to have made this mistake when downloading children’s game apps.

“Fortunately, I spotted the item straight away when I checked my account online and managed to call the credit card company and stop the payment. I ended up cancelling my credit card and getting a new one.

“From what they told me a lot of parents have not been so lucky and have been debited hundreds of pounds for these apps.”

We manage his computers and set up his phone, so his first call was to us to see if there was a way of preventing this happening in future. The iPhone has a lot of functions but you have to search for them and know where to look.

Fortunately there is a way of preventing this happening by going into the iPhone settings and selecting the following:
Enable Restrictions and then set a four-digit code.
Then scroll down to “in–App Purchases” and set to OFF.

Mark Langston