A policeman has shopped his 13-year-old son for fraud after he ran up a £3,700 bill – playing iPad games.
PC Doug Crossan, 48, was horrified when his credit card company informed him that son Cameron had blown a small fortune in the App Store.
He claims the teenager was unaware he was being charged for the in-game purchases and wants Apple to scrap the charge. But the technology company has refused and his only way of recouping the money is to report the purchases as being fraudulent.
So Mr Crossan, of Clevedon, Somerset, has shopped Cameron to the Action Fraud helpline – meaning his son could face arrest and questioning by the police.
He said: “I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it, but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded.
“In theory the local police station would contact me and ask for Cameron to come in to be interviewed. I could make it difficult, of course, and refuse to bring him in and they would have to come and arrest him.
“Really I just want to embarrass Apple as much as possible. Morally, I just don’t understand where Apple gets off charging for a child’s game.”
Cameron has owned the Apple tablet computer only since December after he and other pupils at Clevedon School were bought them to help them in class.
Mr Crossan logged the details of his MBNA Virgin credit card with Apple when he used the device to download a music album. Cameron then racked up more than 300 purchases on games such as Plants vs Zombies, Nova 3 Hungry Shark and Gun Builder.
Many are free to download, but users can buy in-game extras – in one game Cameron had bought a virtual chest of gold coins costing £77.98.
When his father confronted him, Cameron quickly confessed, claiming he did not know he was incurring charges as the games were initially free.
Mr Crossan said: “None of us had any knowledge of what was happening as there was no indication in the game that he was being charged for any of the clicks made within it.”
Apple has refused to cancel the charges, citing parental responsibility and pointing out that iPads contain password locks to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.
But Mr Crossan, an officer with Avon and Somerset Police, believes the company has “duped” his son into making purchases he was not aware of.
Avon and Somerset Police yesterday refused to comment on the case. Virgin Money has also declined to comment.
A spokesperson for the Home Office, which runs Action Fraudline, said Mr Crossan would have to resolve the matter with Apple, adding: “It doesn’t sound like a fraud has taken place.”
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