Want to save gas? What about reducing carbon emissions from not owning your car? Ridesharing – either through carpools, taxis, or services like Uber and Lyft – can seem an ideal alternative. Research has shown that it is generally better for the environment, the fewer cars there are on the road.
This means that ridesharing services help – not only are the cars often newer, they are also better cared for and meet current emission standards. However, what if that Lyft or Uber driver you had a great conversation with is looking to scam you?
How Do Rideshare Scams Work?
When you use ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber, you provide the company with your credit card information. Without realizing it, you agree to a detailed list of terms and conditions upon sign up, which can cost you money! According to an online article found in the Miami Herald, some Uber drivers fake dirt/grime, even ‘vomit’ charges to bill you extra and earn more cash!
This means that a crooked Uber driver can pretend that you became ill and charged you up to $150.00, intended for a car detail. While it is understandable that the drivers of rideshare cars need to be protected, having these fees available can be dangerous for those who use the service and aren’t aware they’ve been billed. Check your accounts – both the rideshare service and your bank statement- to see if service fees correct.
You order an Uber, and it arrives. Your driver secretly cancels the trip, saying you never showed up. When you get into the rideshare car, the driver claims your affordable ride doesn’t exist and, according to your side of the app, the cancellation means there is no record of the car.
The driver will then offer to drive you for a higher fee. To avoid this, get out and wait for a new ride, or make sure that the trip you ordered is showing current before you get in the car.
This scam is similar to ride cancellation scams, except for this scam the driver will still get paid the regular ride amount as well. The “extra fees” scam works like this: perhaps the driver will ask if you have cash on hand to contribute to the toll fare.
Another version, if you’re in a by the minute taxi, is when a driver takes a longer route to bill more. Lastly, sometimes drivers from other services will show up at hot spots and get you to take their ride, then charge you a hefty fee, much higher than you’d pay through the app you expected.
While drivers and passengers aren’t to blame in this case, hackers are. Phishing scams send out emails or texts that look like they’re from the app or rideshare service. The emails will duplicate official company logos or details, and try and get you to update financial (credit card) information or log-in and password details.
Beware of any emails which request information from a rideshare app. If you do receive emails, look at the actual hyperlinks sent to you and the URL that it redirects you to.
These scams impact the company and the drivers for rideshare services. A passenger might cancel a ride mid-trip, hoping to reduce fees.
Or, the passenger might claim lousy behavior from the driver of the car, even though that didn’t happen, then ask the company for a refund under pretense.
Search names on Social Catfish and look for complaints about drivers or passengers: