Couple Receives Hour-Long Voicemail Message Left By Their Amazon Echo

Karen Creegan and her husband woke up to a 67-minute-long voicemail from an unknown caller, discovering later that it was actually left by Alexa. The message included snippets of Karen telling their Echo to dim the lights and Karen's husband talking to their dog, Penny. Alexa can call your smartphone if you trigger the “Find My Phone” feature, but a company spokesperson said the Echo doesn’t record or store conversations unless it hears the “wake word,” prompting a light on the device to turn on to let you know it’s listening. Amazon has come under fire for its devices recording conversations and has faced two separate privacy violation lawsuits last year, including a claim that it had violated children's privacy rights by refusing to remove the recording history of minors. A judge ruled that the company had to pay a collective $30.8 million for both violations. When Karen spoke with Amazon customer service, she was told that she had been hacked. Hackers can access Amazon Echo devices by installing malware that can turn it into a remote listening device, creating malware that appears to be by a third-party developer like ordering food or adding events to a Google calendar. Artificial intelligence can also be used to clone your voice, giving hackers access to all accounts connected to the device. It wasn't until Karen contacted a news outlet asking for help that she received another call from Amazon telling her that she must have triggered something to turn on the "Find My Phone” feature on her Echo. The representative told her to mute her Echo when she goes to bed so it can't pick up on any conversations that might trigger a recording.