Every Uber Scam You Need to Look out for
Last Updated on July 18, 2021 by Rideshare Community Support
Uber is one of the most, if not the most, popular cab on demand services in the world. It is quite well-established, and has several measures in place to ensure that neither customers nor drivers can take advantage of any loopholes in the system.
In the last few years both riders and drivers have found ways to cheat the system, resulting in an occasional Uber scam. While there are certainly ways to avoid getting scammed and being more aware, even seasoned drivers and riders are prone to the occasional fraudulent call or email.
In this article we will discuss the common Uber scams you may experience as a driver or a rider, and how to avoid them.
Most companies are customer-centric and on the lookout for scams that will affect their customers, but there are several ways in which drivers can get scammed too.
In these situations scammers usually try to get personal information from the drivers so that they can siphon money from their Uber account or get rides for free. The end result is that the driver does not get paid. The most common scams that drivers should be aware of are listed below.
After you accept a request from a rider you might get a call from a scammer claiming that they’re from Uber. They will tell you that the ride has been cancelled because of some specific reasons such as the customer being disabled and needing special equipment to get in the car.
After this they will tell you to cancel the ride from your end with the promise that you will still get paid for the ride once you tell them your personal and Uber account details. Once this is done the scammer will remove any available money from your Uber account.
The reason why this Uber scam works is that it gives drivers the false promise of getting a free ride for cancellations done outside of their control.
The way to avoid this scam is to know that Uber will never call you to cancel a ride or offer you payments on rides that you have not accepted or completed. The communication about your rides will be done via the app or an official source, not via a call. If you get a call from someone claiming to be an Uber representative do not entertain them.
Drivers often get calls from scammers claiming that they’re from Uber and that they’ve won a prize for completing a certain number of rides this week. Other reasons they might give you for having won a prize is the low number of cancellations from your Uber account, your star rating, or high performance over a period of time within a particular category.
Similar to the last scam, the caller will ask you for your Uber account and personal details then say that they need it to deposit the prize in your account. Once you have provided your details they will then siphon money from your account.
The way to avoid this scam, again, is to not entertain calls from anyone claiming to call from Uber. Furthermore, Uber does not organize any such prizes without prior notification, and even then it works on a rewards system. Do not trust anything that doesn’t come directly to you from the app.
There are multiple ways in which scammers will try to get a free ride from you.
The first way is that when you get to their location they will ask you who you’re there to pick up. Once you tell them the name they will confirm it then get in the cab. However, that will not be the person that you were supposed to pick up, and that means that they get a free ride so you do not get paid.
The way to avoid this is to always ask the passenger their name before volunteering it yourself. Another way to further verify that you’re letting the right person into your car is by asking them the name of the driver. Your name will show up on their app, and this two way verification will ensure that you do not get scammed out of a ride.
Some passengers might cancel their ride before it ends which means that they won’t have to pay the full amount. If you do not notice that the ride has ended you will drop them to their final location, and then you will not get paid the amount that you were promised.
Learn more about this by checking out this article on Uber ride Cancellation.
The way to avoid this is to keep your phone on the loud setting and always keep your Uber notifications on. This will ensure that any update on the trip status will be instantly available on your screen for you to check out.
Many scammers target drivers, but drivers can also scam riders into paying them more than they’re expected to pay. Make sure you watch out for these scams potentially carried out by Uber drivers.
A driver may tell you that their app is glitching or that their phone is switched off, and you will have to pay them in cash. If you booked the ride with the cash option then there is no issue, but if you booked it via your credit card or some alternate method of online payment this is a potential scam. You are at risk of paying cash, and being charged on the online mode of payment. You could end up paying double for your ride.
The way to avoid this is to terminate the ride if the cab driver says that their app is not working. If your mode of payment is online, never pay in cash. You can also report the ride if the driver makes you feel uncomfortable.
Another iteration of the same scam is when the driver will insist that you selected cash instead of card or online payments while booking the cab. This can be easily verified. At the end of the ride both your screens should show the amount of cash that you owe the driver.
Ask them to show you their screen where the amount due is listed, and tell them that you can see exactly what is happening on your screen. This might be an honest mistake, but you should report the driver if he insists on making you uncomfortable about the situation.
Always make sure that you check your own app. Be absolutely sure about your mode of payment being online before you report the driver. Learn more about this by checking out this article on Uber Cash Payments.
Cancel and Pay
Some drivers will ask you to cancel the ride then pay them online or via cash instead of paying them via Uber. They will give you excuses like they aren’t getting money from Uber or something similar with the hope being that you might feel sorry for them and comply. After all, you’re going to be paying the same amount of money. Some drivers might also give you a small discount.
This is more common at airports, malls, and other places where there is a common pickup point. Always pay the driver via the app. Don’t get into the cab if you have cancelled it. Even if the driver is actually the one that was supposed to pick you up and you have verified the details you shouldn’t get in. The cancelled cab will not give you access to the Safety Toolkit that comes with Uber.
Tolls on your journey are included with your fair. This comes as a notification on the app when you book a long ride that has tolls on the way. A driver may try to convince you that tolls are separate and ask you for cash.
Never pay cash in such situations. If the driver insists, and you do not want to be stranded, tell them that you will call the Uber customer care to report them. Uber takes these offenses seriously, and the driver should comply once he gets that you know what you’re talking about.
Final Word on Uber Scams
Drivers and riders can never be fully safe from the traps of scammers looking to make a quick buck. If you drive an Uber or regularly use one for traveling you should know which calls or emails from the company are legit, and which ones are just trying to cheat you out of your money.
Every Uber scam comes with some signs that you need to watch out for. We hope that this article has given you a good idea about what you need to avoid when you’re driving or booking an Uber next time. If you’re interested in similar topics about the working of Uber, please feel free to check out our other articles as well!