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Freemium games costing parents £30 million a year

Giving your smartphone or tablet to your children has become an increasingly expensive way to keep them occupied with the average parent forking out around £34 as a result of accidental in-app purchases. Over a quarter of parents with smart devices have been caught out, while 80 per cent of those have seen higher bills as a result of unauthorized app purchases.

Freemium games, which encourage kids to buy extra goodies while they’re in the middle of playing, are costing parents across the nation a total of £30m as kids unlock levels, or buy coins or obtain other in-game items without their permission. The study showed that 8-year olds are doing the most damage with an average spend of £59.

The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the issue to ensure game developers aren’t deliberately targeting children and putting parents under undue pressure to pay as a result.

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