OFT investigate 'free' app games

"Free" web and app-based games aimed at children are being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading over concerns about costs for extras. In March, a five-year-old boy racked up charges of £1,700 playing games on his parents' iPad.

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Martin Lewis: 'Disappointing' apps can charge for extras

Martin Lewis, the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said it was "disappointing" that apps aimed at children have been allowed to charge "ridiculous amounts" for extra features. He said:

When games such as My Little Pony, which are obviously targeted at young children, bait kids with 69p purchases of a 'mountain of gems', something is going wrong in the system.

What's really disappointing is it's been allowed to get this far. Apple especially makes a play of only allowing approved apps in its store.

So why does it allow games that can be targeted at young children to charge such ridiculous amounts for in-app purchases?

As always, an OFT investigation, even if it does advise action, will take time. So the most important message meanwhile is to protect yourself.

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