Story: When you get a surprise Amazon order you didn’t make

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My friend, Saheed, had an interesting experience this week. It had to do with getting an Amazon order that he hadn’t made. Was his account hacked? Far from it! I got Saheed’s permission to share his story here on Mobility Arena. Enjoy the hilarious story and how it unravelled.

Story begins: Earlier this week, I got an email from Amazon saying they received my order. I was puzzled. I didn’t order anything. I ignored it. Some days later I got another email. I ignored. I assumed it was some glitch on Amazon. Then two days ago, I got an email that it had been shipped. Then I knew something was up.

Saheed Amazon prime account with order
Saheed’s Amazon order

I logged into my Amazon account and I was in shock. Not only had there been a shipment, but there was also a shoe left on my shopping cart. I saw the order that had been shipped. It was a Peppa Pig- Family Camping Trip Playset. How did this happen? The only fan of Peppa pig is my daughter Ifedayo. Then it dawned on me.

She’s always saying, “Alexa play Daddy pig song”. And Alexa would play it and she would jump on the bed. I found another order for glasses and yes, that was also shipped. So it finally hit me: my 3yr old daughter just ordered these.

Emergency Lockdown Procedure Activated

The first thing I did was disconnect my card from Alexa. I went through the voice commands and found her tiny voice all over the place. Over 200 commands.

“Alexa, play gummy bear”.

“Alexa, play Daddy pig song”,

“Alexa, play Baby shark”.

“Alexa, play Enya only time” Enya’s only time is my wife’s song for an afternoon nap with her and her brother.

I found, “Alexa, play Bach”, which is my own song for night time.

Then I found the voice command for the glasses and Peppa pig. Alexa must have assumed she said, “Pay Peppa Pig set” or something close. Alexa’s default question is for you to confirm and my daughter’s default answer is always YES. Well, the order just arrived. I will allow her to have it. $34 won’t break the bank. She’s earned it. I will return the other order.

Amazon order arrived
Saheed’s Amazon order arrived

The second package has landed. Sunshades. I will return that package.

End of story.

I am so happy for Saheed that his bill came to only $34. I mean, what if she had ordered a Tesla? That would have been proper gbese! Interesting that this mild drama happened because of the small difference between the pronunciation of the words “play” and “pay” by a child.

I would also argue that voice asistants need to become more intelligent. The technology is superb; it just needs refinement. I’d expect that Alexa should initiate a shopping order if only it hears the word “Order”, “Buy”, or the phrase “Pay for” (which is different from just “Pay”). That is the level of refinement it needs.

Meanwhile, Saheed told me that he has never ordered anything via Alexa, His daughter is officially the first person to do so in the house. Not bad at all. The little girl has blazed a new trail for the oldies in the house.

Any Lessons?

If you have Alexa or any other voice asistant active at home or on your devices and a child who uses it, you need to enable extra security on it to prevent unauthorised orders. This sort of thing can happen with Google Assistant too, as it is tied to app and music purchases in the Play Store. For example, you can set it to require authentication (including Biometric) for purchases.

Secure your account today and escape the tyranny of toddlers. Even if you do not have toddlers with access to your account, it is still a good idea to have an extra layer of security enabled for payments. That way, you can reduce the chances of anyone making unauthorized purchases on your card.

You can read the interesting story HERE on Facebook.

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