News On Japan

Beware of Children Racking Up Hefty In-App Bills

TOKYO, Mar 14 (News On Japan) - The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan is issuing a warning as incidents of children making unauthorized in-app purchases in smartphone online games continue to rise.

Astonishing data on children's in-app spending reveals that, in the fiscal year 2020, half of the consultations related to online games involved spending amounts between 100,000 and 500,000 yen, with an average of 330,000 yen. Furthermore, 6.5% of cases involved spending over 1 million yen.

While these figures are shockingly high, parents should not be complacent, thinking that their child does not have a smartphone or that child locks are in place.

In one case involving a child under 10 years old, the child was using an old smartphone previously used by a parent, connected to Wi-Fi for gaming and watching videos. The smartphone had credit card information registered, and the parent thought it was safe due to fingerprint authentication. However, the child learned how to add their fingerprint from a friend and ended up spending 50,000 yen on a game.

Another case involved a child who changed the smartphone password while the parent was driving and made in-app purchases right next to them.

Given that today's children are digital natives, it is crucial for parents not to let their guard down. It is also important to notice payment completion emails before the spending gets too high and to take action to prevent further unauthorized purchases.

Source: FNN

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