I looked up our iTunes account. And then I realized I'd been victimized by my own flesh and blood. Carden had been watching over my shoulder the week before as I downloaded some new math apps onto our iPod, and figured out my password. And in between fraction sessions, he goofed around with a Lil' Pirates game that I have since learned is what's considered a "freemium" game--free to download, but in order to progress, you have to buy items with real money. Lots of parents have been scammed by this, and the games now have a warning on them, but it was too little, too late.
I sent several e-mails to the credit card company, Apple, and the game manufacturer, Apple was good about it, and refunded our money, with the warning that their grace was one-time only.
Our next steps:
1. Deleted all the games. I admit this was a bit drastic, but then I figured they have plenty of computer and video games. A life without Angry Birds would not be the worst thing. If they're playing with the iPod at least now I know it's something educational. Plus we've had more than a few flashcard sessions get sidetracked with a game.
2. Changed the password.
3. Reset the iPod to not allow any in-app purchases. If you've got one of these devices, I really suggest you look into disabling the in-app purchase feature. It wasn't hard.
4. Had several lengthy discussions with the kids.
Now that things have calmed down, I've realized this is just my introduction to the stage of life where my children's mistakes begin to get considerably more expensive. I can hardly wait.