Uber

Uber In Depth

Sections on this page
  1. Common Uber Scams
  2. How to Beat Uber Scams
  3. Reporting Uber Scams

Uber, the world's most popular ride-sharing platform, grew out of a simple idea—the ability to find a ride simply by tapping a button on your phone. Since its launch by entrepreneurs Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009, Uber has dominated the ride-sharing industry, taking in 68% of that business in the U.S. alone. Today, 93 million customers worldwide use the Uber app, and 3.5 million drivers serve these customers—which is probably why Uber scams have become so common.

While Uber is primarily known for its ride-sharing, in 2015, it introduced its restaurant food delivery app, known as Uber Eats. Uber Eats ranks as one of the most widely used food delivery apps.

The convenience of pressing a button and ordering a ride or your next meal appeals to more than just Uber's vast customer base. Unfortunately, it makes it easy for scammers to trick unsuspecting victims.

Common Uber Scams

Whether you use Uber or Uber Eats, these are the most common scams to look out for.

Driver's a No-Show

You order a ride through the Uber app and wait for the car to arrive, but it doesn't. So you're forced to cancel the ride, which causes you to incur cancellation fees. Later, you might be dismayed to find out that you were still charged for the ride that never arrived.

Driver Requesting Cash Payment

When you arrive at your destination, your driver will insist that you selected a cash payment. You may believe you chose this option accidentally and pay the driver in cash. However, you'll end up incurring a cancellation fee if the driver claims you canceled just before picking you up.

In another version of this scam, the driver mentions that the app is not working at the moment, and you'll need to pay cash. You pay the driver in cash but find out later that your credit card was charged anyway, resulting in a double charge.

Fraudulent Charges

In this scam, you find out a day or two after your ride that the driver is charging you for cleaning fees or damages you supposedly caused to the vehicle. Of course, you know that you didn't make a mess or damage the car, but it's the driver's word against yours, and you may be hit with an expensive bill.

Inflated Rates

During the ride, the driver will ask you for additional fees to cover some unexpected expenses. For example, sometimes they'll ask for you to pay for tolls, or they might also take a strange, longer route to increase fares. Or they might not end the ride when you exit the car, which means you'll continue to be charged for additional mileage that you didn't travel.

Uber Eats scams

In this scam involving the food delivery app, customers order food and the order appears to go through. However, the app doesn't update the order status, and eventually, the driver cancels the order. The customer ends up being charged for the order, but the driver takes off with the food.

Non-Uber Drivers

If you're waiting for an Uber ride at a common Uber pickup area, such as an airport, you might inadvertently get into the wrong car. Fake drivers know how easy it is to mistake one car for another when you're in a rush. Sometimes they'll ask you to cancel the Uber ride you booked and pay cash. Or the driver could have even more dangerous intentions that could threaten your life and safety.

Phishing Scams

You may receive emails that appear to originate from Uber requesting that you reset your password using a link. However, when you click the link, you'll end up on a malicious website set up by scammers. If you try to reset your password as directed, scammers will gain access to your account to score free rides. 

Uber Scams Targeting Drivers

Uber drivers can be unwitting victims of scams, too. In one of the most popular scams, Uber drivers receive a phone call that appears to come from the ride-sharing company, offering them a bonus for excellent driving services. The person on the phone asks questions about the driver's account and banking information so they can transfer the bonus money to the account.

Unfortunately, the bonus never shows up. Instead, the scammer logs into the driver's Uber account fraudulently and either steals the fares, or gains access to the bank account so they can make fraudulent charges.    

How to Beat Uber Scams

As enjoyable and convenient as it can be to use Uber and Uber Eats, remember that you're ultimately dealing with a stranger. Awareness can help you get ahead of potential scams. Take these steps to avoid Uber and Uber Eats scams:

  • Make sure the face of the person picking you up matches the photo in the app.
  • Check the license plate, car make, and model to make sure it matches the vehicle information in the app.
  • Do not get in the car if the information or photo doesn't match the app details.
  • Ask the driver to confirm your name before you get in the car, as in, "Who are you here to pick up?"
  • Share your trip status in the app with a friend or family member, who will then be able to track your trip and estimated arrival time.
  • Do not pay outside of the app, even if a driver requests it—end the ride if necessary.
  • Confirm the fee and the destination when you enter the vehicle.
  • Avoid clicking on any links in emails requesting that you reset your Uber password.
  • Take photos of the vehicle's interior in case the driver claims you caused damages, so you can prove that you didn't.
  • Double-check that the app confirms the ride has ended when you leave the car.
  • If you need to change your password or other account details, do so directly via the Uber website or app.

Reporting Uber Scams

If you find yourself a victim of an Uber or Uber Eats scam, here's how you can attempt to recover your funds and report the activity.

Contact Details

Uber



Verified.org

Verified Contact Details

It's important to verify links and contact details to beat imposters.

Report Drivers to Uber

If you believe an Uber driver has acted unprofessionally or tried to scam you, you can report the driver directly to Uber. You can also contact Uber if you think you were unfairly charged a cancellation fee or incurred any other charges you believe are fraudulent.

Provide as much detail as possible explaining how the driver acted and why this violates Uber's policies. Since it's usually the driver's word against yours, you may need to follow up with additional emails and phone calls to plead your case.

Dispute Charges with Your Credit Card Company or Bank

If Uber refuses to refund fraudulent charges, your next step is to contact your financial institution. Explain the situation and ask for the charge(s) to be reviewed. Sometimes, they will return the funds if you have a strong enough argument for fraud. 

Contact the Police if Your Life is in Danger

It can be extremely unsettling to end up in a car with a driver who's pretending to work for Uber or with a driver who does work for Uber but has bad intentions. If you feel that you're in a dangerous situation, you can request to end the ride immediately.

Another option is to call 911 by tapping the Emergency Button located in your Uber app. When you call emergency services from the Uber app, the app provides you with your real-time location and trip details that you can share with the dispatcher.

Scams Impacting Uber

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Uber Cancellation Fee Scams: Beware of Sketchy Uber Drivers
17 August 2021 |

Uber Cancellation Fee Scams: Beware of Sketchy Uber Drivers

If your Uber driver is a no-show, be sure you follow up and make sure you're not charged a cancellation fee—you could be falling into a scammer's trap.

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The "Little Gift" is a Lie! Protect Yourself From Fake Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Texts
15 October 2021 |

The "Little Gift" is a Lie! Protect Yourself From Fake Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Texts

If you receive a text message from your cell phone provider containing a link to a "little gift," don't click on it—it's a scam!

Red Flags of Fake Venmo Email Scams Promising A Lot of Money

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Venmo users are noticing suspicious emails hitting their inboxes with claims of a large sum of money waiting to be transferred by a PayPal user.

Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions
7 October 2021 |

Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions

The Tinder safe dating scam tricks users into giving up their credit card info to verify their profiles and leads to auto-enrollment in monthly subscription-based porn sites.

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information
6 October 2021 |

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information

A call from your bank isn't always legitimate—imposters pretend to represent your bank to steal your information and money.

Vishing Scams: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself
4 October 2021 |

Vishing Scams: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself

In 2020, almost $20 billion was lost to phone scammers in the U.S. alone. With 165 million robocalls being made every day, it's hard not to be targeted.

Red Flags of Advance Fee Scams and How to Beat Them
28 September 2021 |

Red Flags of Advance Fee Scams and How to Beat Them

A promise of a large sum of money in return for a fee should raise some red flags—more often than not, it's a scam.

How the Nigerian Prince Scam Has Evolved & How to Protect Yourself

How the Nigerian Prince Scam Has Evolved & How to Protect Yourself

Arm yourself with information on how this scam works and the red flags to watch out for to protect your bank account from these thieves.

Elderly Targeted in Sweepstakes Scams: A Lesson to Remember
27 September 2021 |

Elderly Targeted in Sweepstakes Scams: A Lesson to Remember

Read how an actual sweepstakes scheme unfolded and scammed an elderly couple out of $800,000, as told by investigative consultant and ex-DEA Special Agent, Jason James.

How to Buy a Used Car Safely: Protection From Used Car Scams
22 September 2021 |

How to Buy a Used Car Safely: Protection From Used Car Scams

Buying a used car from a private seller can save you money, but it can also make you vulnerable to various scams. Protect yourself and your money from used car scams.

Guides To Protect Against Automotive & Transport Scams

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U.S. Fraud and Scam Statistics 2020 - $3.3 Billion Lost
14 October 2021

U.S. Fraud and Scam Statistics 2020 - $3.3 Billion Lost

The U.S. saw a massive 45% increase from 2019 to 2020 in reports of fraud, scams, and identity theft and a 1,400% increase in 20 years from 2001.

Save Up to 25% With These 14 Discounts on Car Insurance
14 October 2021 |

Save Up to 25% With These 14 Discounts on Car Insurance

When looking for the best car insurance rates, be sure to take advantage of these 14 discounts that can save you hundreds of dollars on your premium.

How Much Is Your New Car Really Going to Cost You? We Break It Down
13 October 2021 |

How Much Is Your New Car Really Going to Cost You? We Break It Down

Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases a person may make in their lives, and being aware of these often-forgotten expenses may help you make a more informed decision.

Red Pocket is Not a Scam! Customer Claims Debunked
13 October 2021 |

Red Pocket is Not a Scam! Customer Claims Debunked

Red Pocket, like many services, has its share of negative reviews from unhappy customers—we take a closer look at some of these claims.

DEA Impersonators: How to Protect Yourself from "DEA" Phone Scams
12 October 2021 |

DEA Impersonators: How to Protect Yourself from "DEA" Phone Scams

If you get a call from a DEA agent requesting payment for a fine, hang up—this is a scam. Knowing the red flags and how these scams work can help keep your money safe.

News About Automotive & Transport Scams

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News in Other Categories...
N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims
5 October 2021 |

N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims

This case shows just why you need to be aware of SIM swapping and how to protect your cell phone number from criminals like this.

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million
22 September 2021 |

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million

After a 3-year long scam, Angela Mirabella and six others have been indicted on several charges, including grand theft.

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time
14 September 2021 |

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time

Taking a chance on a fake COVID-19 vaccination card seems like an easy way to get around requirements, but think again before you land yourself in prison.

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP
10 September 2021 |

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP

Sometimes it just safer not to pick up calls from unknown phone numbers.

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters
23 August 2021 |

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters

Nike is taking a stand against counterfeiters and stopping fake products before they hit U.S. soil.