If your child bought Fortnite virtual gear without asking, FTC says refund possible

If children bought virtual gear on the popular Fortnite video game without telling their parents, Mom and Dad could be entitled to a refund that’s a one-shot deal.

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According to a news release from the Federal Trade Commission, the agency on Tuesday began notifying 37 million people who could receive a refund from Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite. The FTC will notify people for the next month, and consumers in the U.S. can apply for a refund at www.fortniterefund.com/file-a-claim.

In 2022, Epic Games agreed to pay $520 million to settle allegations from the federal government that the company used deceptive practices. Approximately $245 million of that settlement includes money for customer refunds, which was part of a settlement reached in March, according to The Associated Press.

The refund pool was established to cover some of the unwanted purchases, including “dark patterns,” to trick players into buying virtual costumes. along with V-Bucks, dance moves and purple llama “loot crates,” CBS News reported.

The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 17, 2024, the FTC said in its release.

Persons seeking a refund must be at least 18 years old to complete a form; if they have not reached the legal age, the form must be filled out by a parent or guardian.

Here are the eligibility requirements to seek a refund, according to the FTC:

  • You were charged in-game currency for items you didn’t want between January 2017 and September 2022;
  • Your child made charges to your credit card without your knowledge between January 2017 and November 2018;
  • Your account was locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after you complained to your credit card company about wrongful charges.

To apply for a refund, consumers will need a claim number or their Epic Account ID. According to the FTC, a player’s Fortnite account will not be affected by the claim, and all items purchased will not be lost.

As part of the settlement, Epic Games agreed to pay a $275 million fine for allegedly collecting personal information on Fortnite players younger than 13 years old without telling their parents or receiving their consent, according to the AP. It was the biggest penalty imposed for breaking an FTC rule.

The amount each person will receive as a refund is unknown, CBS News reported. According to the FTC, that will depend on several factors, including how many people file a claim.

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