Hundreds of Australian teenagers are racking up expenses online without their parents’ permission, in some cases leaving families on the hook for bills worth thousands of dollars, a new survey has found.
34 per cent of parents said their children made an honest mistake.
29 per cent said they knowingly overspent.
The largest purchase was $7,000.
The report by the not-for-profit Financial Basics Foundation also found some parents had to delay paying bills or cut back on essential spending to pay for their child’s purchase.
“Half the online overspending by tweens and teens was with their parent’s credit or debit card,” Financial Basics Foundation chief executive Katrina Birch said.
“It’s very enticing for them to press ‘pay now’ without understanding the consequences.”
The survey of 1,000 parents found 56 per cent had been forced to foot the bill for their teenager’s overspending, mostly for mobile phone data, in-game purchases, music and video streaming.
Thirty-four per cent of parents said their children made an honest mistake, while 29 per cent said they knowingly overspent.
As well as using their parents’ credit cards, teenagers used their own debit cards.
While the majority of purchases were less than $100, the most expensive was $7,000.