Companies like Uber and Lyft are supposed to hire reliable drivers who get paying passengers where they need to go. Unfortunately, there are those out there that try to abuse the system and the passenger pays the price. While some scams could result in financial loss or a missed appointment, others could result in death. Whether you frequently use a rideshare service or are new to the system, it’s important to be aware of the common scams and how to avoid them.
Rideshare Schemes Passengers Should Be Aware Of
While negligent rideshare drivers are coming up with new ways to scam the people that are only looking to get from point A to point B, there are certain schemes that you are more likely to come in contact with.
Fake drivers are one of the most dangerous rideshare scams, and it happens more than you may think. For example, in March 2019, a University of South Carolina student was picked up by a driver pretending to be the Uber she called for. The student was taken and later found dead.
Individuals who decide to pretend to be an Uber driver always do so with poor intent. Often times, they’re trying to make money without actually working for Uber or Lyft, rob or assault the person that gets into their car, or kidnap them.
While rideshare drivers are screened prior to hire, there’s no way for Uber to monitor how a driver has been doing if instances go unreported. A driver could have a clean record prior to working for a rideshare company, but if they get into an accident or break a law without it being reported, the company will be unaware of the event. This could put passengers in danger when they unknowingly accept a ride from a negligent driver.
This scam generally happens at airports or locations that are similarly busy. If you call for a rideshare vehicle, it never arrives, and you cancel, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee. The driver gets a portion of the fee for their time. A negligent driver could potentially stall at a nearby location and hope that’ll you’ll get tired of waiting and cancel. Then they’ll move on to the next person.
Live Streaming Rides
Some Uber and Lyft drivers have cameras to record what goes on in their vehicle while they’re active on the app as a driver. While the majority of drivers who do this will make you aware of it and are only doing it to ensure your safety and their safety during the trip, there are others who abuse this technology.
Some drivers live stream their rides to collect personal information from passengers. They could use this to steal from them or commit fraud. It’s important for passengers to know they have a right to say they do not want to be recorded. If the driver persists, the passenger can cancel the trip.
How to Avoid Being Scammed by a Rideshare Driver
In order to use rideshare services safely, there are a number of steps you can take as a passenger. When your ride is accepted and the driver is on their way, you will get a description of the vehicle and the driver. Before entering the car, verify both match with what you have. Never get into a different vehicle. It’s also a good idea to share your trip details with a friend. You can do this in the app, via the “share status” feature.
Once you’re in the car, be aware of the driver’s behaviors. If at any time you feel unsafe, you can tell the driver to pull over and cancel your ride. Follow your instincts. If something seems off, it probably is. Finally, report any incidents you have to the rideshare company as soon as possible. This will ensure the driver is looked into and deactivated if they’re a threat to others.
Even if you take measures to avoid being scammed by a rideshare driver, you could still suffer because of their negligent actions, whether they’re intentional or otherwise. Going up against a large corporation on your own can be intimidating, which is why our team of nationwide lawyers are here for rideshare accident victims. Contact us for more information.