How to prevent unauthorized charges by your child

Personal Finance Expert shares preventative steps
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:56:50-04

NATIONAL — More and more children are buying coins and upgrades in their video games, and they are doing it without your permission.

"Around 30.4 percent of parents stated that they received a refund in a case when their children made an unauthorized in-app purchase in a mobile game,” according to a 2020 Sell Cell survey.

Parents have the fair credit billing act to thank for that, because it allows you to dispute unauthorized charges. For example, purchases a child might make on Fortnite without permission. The act also covers charges due to errors and undelivered goods or services.

If this has happened to you, first, contact the merchant and explain what the child did. Next...Reach out to your card holder and dispute the charge, and then if needed, you can get the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate further if the merchant doesn't want to issue your refund.

There are ways to prevent this from happening, personal finance expert Sue Hayward has one simple trick to prevent this from happening.

"Rather than having to actually start checking all the details. Why not actually go into the device and see if there's a way you can stop any in-app purchases and kind of take it back a step, so you're actually stopping them from buying stuff in the first place,” sue hayward said.

While you may be protected and get your money back in most cases, if you've added your child as an authorized user, then you will be held responsible for the purchase even if you didn't know about it.