Are Your Kids Using Alexa to Run Up Your Credit Card Bill?

Have you ever found charges on your bank statement that were made via Alexa without your knowledge? If you have children, or possibly even adult friends that enjoy playing practical jokes, you may have experienced this. It’s not particularly funny however, when you must spend your valuable time on the phone with your bank getting the charges reversed, then calling the company from where the purchase and/or subscription enrollment was made to cancel/return.

After this happened to me multiple times, I decided I was not going to be outsmarted by a 4-year-old. I did some research and found three great options to alleviate this problem:

  1. Turn off Voice Purchasing
    Follow these easy steps. Go to your Alexa app, and in the upper right corner choose Account Settings, then select Voice Purchasing. From there, choose Purchase Controls, and disable all voice purchasing by selecting No One to completely disabled voice purchasing.
  2. Change Settings so Only Recognized Voices Can Make Purchases
    If you still want to make voice purchases yourself, the process is similar. Go into the Alexa app and select Account Settings, then Voice Purchasing and then Purchase Controls. From there, select Only Recognized Voices to limit who can make purchases. Select your name and anyone else’s name that you want to be able to make purchases, then hit Save in the upper right corner. Now only the selected people can spend money using Alexa.
  3. Add a Passcode to Alexa
    To do this go into the Alexa app and to Account Settings, then Voice Purchasing, followed by Purchase Controls. Next, select Anyone with a Voice Code from your options. You will then be prompted to create a 4-digit code, and voila, only someone who knows the code can make purchases! However, as anyone with kids knows, that they are ALWAYS listening, so this method may not be as foolproof as the others.

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Tony Rushin: In his role as VP of sales & marketing, he is responsible for hiring, managing and coaching the sales team and always staying on top of (and meeting) the needs of clients. Under his leadership, the company has steadily grown each year.

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