Kids run up big bills thanks to fake, £15-a-pop, Angry Birds game

16 January 2013

There's a number of people out there who have downloaded a dodgy version of Angry Birds to their phones, finding that they've been hit with a £15 charge every time they opened it.

It seems to be mostly children who have fallen foul of this rogue version, and some of them have run up bills beyond £500.

PhonepayPlus, mobile content regulators, have seen a 300% rise in complaints relating to children and app downloads in the past 12 months. Some of the complaints focus on free downloads which introduce in-app purchase options once the kids are hooked on a game. Then there's the swine who create copies of popular games and plant malware in them.

A spokesman for PhonepayPlus said: "In one case, children as young as 11 years old downloaded free versions of popular games from the Android app store such as Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed and Cut the Rope... in one case a 14 year old girl was tricked into paying for virtual credits in a game when a social media ‘friend’ said she had no credits to phone her dying grandmother."

Elsewhere, children were tricked into sharing a promotion for supermarket vouchers from Tesco and Asda on Facebook, which misled them into taking part in a premium rate competition, which meant that up to 89,000 children were charged £5 every time a trivia question was sent to their phone.

PhonepayPlus continued: "Connected devices will define the age in which today’s children live and we are determined to ensure that they can receive the benefits while being protected from the risks. Smartphones in children’s pockets can burn holes in parent’s wallets, so we are working with partners across industry and other agencies to prevent this."

If you need advice, see the phonebrain.org website.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Games   Scams

5 comments

  • Lewis
    If these people are thick enough to fall for such things, serves them right.
  • klingelton
    @Lewis they're children. however where are the parents when all this is happening? 11 years old and yet has the password to be able to download and install applications to their own device. I'm sorry, but the parents are asking for trouble.
  • Brandon H.
    alternatively, go for payg instead of contracts, and use prepaid cards and vouchers to pay for apps / downloads to limit how much u can b ripped off. of course, if your kid wants an iphone then you haven't got much choice on the contract front.
  • Bizarro P.
    What the hell are kids doing with contracts anyway?!?
  • Upset g.
    Furious birds The overall game involves using a slingshot to propel the little bird-shaped cannonball targeting a very fragile glass and timber homes populated by essentially catatonic green domestic swine. The basic concept of the game is to have the disappearance of pigs and quickest way skillfully as you can by falling apart houses pigs on top of their (sometimes) helmeted mind. The success of the Irritated Birds is at stake! revenge and want to discuss that have taken their eggs plus must do so using the exclusive destructive powers of the Angry Hens to lay waste to the pigs. Angry bird space is definitely characteristic of hours of gameplay, challenging fortress demolition depending on physics, and lots of replay value. Use reasoning, ability, and incredible force to crush the enemy.

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