A dad says he was stunned when his 11-year-old daughter unknowingly ran up a £4,500 bill on a gaming app.
Steve Cumming, 72, initially gave the schoolgirl permission to spend £4.99 for the game, called Roblox, on his debit card.
It was only when he checked his balance months later after setting up internet banking that he saw hundreds of transactions, some as low as 99p.
He has blasted game makers, saying that children are being “trapped” into spending cash not realising what they’re doing.
Mr Cumming said his daughter thought she was spending monopoly money on the game and was shocked to find out what happened.
Roblox, which is advertised as free-to-play, is used by more than 100 million people worldwide.
It is a platform where people can create and join hundreds of games.
After Mr Cumming contacted BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show, Roblox agreed to refund him.
He said initially he “thought nothing of it”, but when he set up online banking during the lockdown he was stunned.
Mr Cumming told the BBC: “I couldn’t understand it. I thought I’d been scammed.”
He said his daughter thought she was playing with monopoly money, and fumed: “How can these companies be allowed to trap minors in these games?”
The game generates cash through in-app purchases.
After seeing the vast sum missing from his account, Mr Cumming contacted HSBC to cancel his card – but claimed a further £1,000 later left his account to be paid to Roblox through Google Pay.
In a statement the game makers told the BBC that it does try to avoid children racking up huge bills like this.
It said: “We strive to prevent unauthorized purchases, by taking measures such as not storing billing information, and work directly with parents to provide appropriate refunds whenever possible, which is the case in this instance.”
It added that it encourages parents to “review their payment settings on third-party services, such as Google Play, as they typically have an option to require a password for each purchase”.