In recent years, there has been an uptick in kidnapping and sexual assault cases involving rideshare passengers. According to an Uber report from 2019, 3,045 sexual assaults were reported that year—and that’s only the reported cases the company was made aware of. It’s likely that number is significantly higher, as some assaulted rideshare victims may not have reported their experience. Rideshare companies have implemented a number of safety measures to reduce risk, but vulnerable riders are likely to still experience some anxiety or fear.
TikTok, a free social media app that lets you watch, create, and share videos, has users who are creating fake phone calls to help rideshare passengers feel safe if they have to ride in an Uber or Lyft alone. The TikTok videos mimic phone calls for riders to play when they get into the car. The videos are often timed to sound as if the user is on speakerphone with their friend or family member.
Those with the TikTok app can search for “Uber safety,” which will garner dozens of results for fake phone calls. Anything from “yeah I just got your locations” to “see you when you get in” can be heard in videos under the search. The app also lets users favorite videos and save them to their devices so they can be easily found after an initial viewing.
Some of the videos that mimic phone calls give instructions to viewers as to what to do or say in between the audio clips. This is in an effort to make the phone call seem more realistic. Other videos play out like voice messages that a rider can pretend they got in a messaging app.
Even with rideshare usage down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fake phone call videos have been going viral. Some videos have gotten millions of views on the platform and it’s likely similar videos will continue to be created.
If you’ve been harmed or injured by a negligent Uber or Lyft driver, you may be able to take legal action against the driver or company. Rideshare drivers are tasked with the responsibility of getting users safely to their destination. When this does not happen because of a driver’s actions, the Rideshare Law Group can step in to help the victim recover financially. To learn more, reach out to our office today.