IN THE video game world of Dragon Vale, six-year-old Malakhai is rich with gems.
In the real world however, his quest has left Nambour mum Billie Colbran more than $1000 out of pocket.
Ms Colbran wants to warn other parents to be wary of the ability to buy in-game currency with real money on Apple and Android devices.
She said it was a fault on iTunes' end that deducted the money from her account instead of a $20 iTunes voucher.
"Anyone with an iPad knows you have a password you put in before buying an app," she said.
"You put a password in and it purchases one game at a time."
Ms Colbran said she bought her son a $20 iTunes voucher every few months so he could download new games.
"I had the voucher but it didn't take it off that."
She is dealing with her bank and iTunes to get her money back. It is currently being held by iTunes.
According to Apple, in-app purchases are linked to bank accounts used with the iTunes store.
Its website says every time an in-app purchase is made using iOS 4.3 or later, users will be asked to confirm the purchase by entering the account password. But, if it has been less than 15 minutes since the last purchase, users will not be required to type in the password again.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.