Look Out, Arizona! This Scam Isn’t Only Annoying it Could Be Deadly
We're all trying to make our lives simpler and safer. Doing the right thing after a night of hanging out with friend while sipping a few adult beverages is fun. Securing a safe ride home afterward is the best way to end an enjoyable evening.
You open your phone and pull up your favorite ride-sharing app. You know you'll have peace of mind, because you'll trust you're getting to your destination safely.
But what if that ride sharing app took you for a ride you were not expecting?
On Alert for Scams
In the cyber age where we do so much digitally, we're always on alert for the possibility of financial scams or identity theft. Using an online service, we understand the risk.
But we rarely worry about the ride itself. We expect a modicum of safety, with the understanding that the companies who run these services have done at least some kind of background check on their drivers.
Getting Taken for a Ride
One ride share passenger realized things were amiss, almost before it was too late. After doing everything right, this scam was so veiled she almost missed what was happening. Her boyfriend posted this to his social media:
There are been instances of ghost accounts created on these apps throughout the years. The user requesting the ride sees driver's account and as far as she or he can tell, everything looks normal and above board.
Fortunately, this girl who described this incident took some advance safety measures and made sure she had a record of the interaction before the evidence disappeared.
According to CNET.com, this scam has been around for a few years. In 2019, they reported, "London regulators refused to renew the ride-hailing company's operating permit because of safety concerns. The biggest issue lawmakers cited was drivers using false identities as they ferried unsuspecting passengers."
What Scammers are Doing
The way the scam works is simple: the scammers get together and share a single Uber or Lyft account. When one of them drives, they upload their own photo intending to fool passengers.
In most cases, these unauthorized drivers were never vetted, licensed ore even insured in many cases. The scam this woman experienced may be a related to this scam.
A Dangerous Turn
It looks like scammers have kicked this up a notch, and the consequences can be even worse and more dangerous for passengers.
At the beginning, these rides look real, but later, when the user tries to find the find, they discover it's gone - like the trip never happened. This makes it very difficult to prove to the companies who run Uber and Lyft that the ride ever took place. The fact this woman could have been kidnapped makes this even more frightening.
Take Precautions Before You Ride
Anytime you use one of these ride shares, always let someone know where you are and where you're going before you get into the car. Snap a photo of the license plate and send it to the person you've communicated with, just in case anything happens.
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