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

Sort by:
Uber Cancellation Fee Scams: Beware of Sketchy Uber Drivers
17 March 2022 |

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.

Scams in Other Categories...
The Real Cost of Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls

The Real Cost of Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls

Fabulous wealth and life-changing prizes aren't always what's to be expected after receiving a call from PCH—it could just be a scam to steal your information and money.

FedEx Text Scam: Fake Delivery Alerts & Notifications
23 September 2022 |

FedEx Text Scam: Fake Delivery Alerts & Notifications

FedEx is warning customers of a fake text alert going around regarding an issue with a delivery. Learn how to avoid this tricky scam.

Real Chase Fraud Text Alert or Scam Message?
6 September 2022 |

Real Chase Fraud Text Alert or Scam Message?

If you receive a text message from Chase Bank, don't click on any links or call the phone number listed—it could be a scam designed to steal your information and money.

Truist Text Alert: How to Identify a Real Text from a Scam
6 September 2022 |

Truist Text Alert: How to Identify a Real Text from a Scam

You may think that that Truist have sent you a text alert about your account. Here's how to check if it is actually a scam.

Free Netflix for a Year: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam
29 August 2022 |

Free Netflix for a Year: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam

Netflix has never offered a free subscription for an entire year. If you receive this offer from "Netflix," it's a scam.

Received an Amazon OTP Text? It Could Be a Scam
16 August 2022 |

Received an Amazon OTP Text? It Could Be a Scam

If you received an Amazon OTP text message out of the blue, it could be a sign that someone else is trying to log into your account.

How to Beat Airbnb Payment Scams That Can Leave You Stranded
11 July 2022 |

How to Beat Airbnb Payment Scams That Can Leave You Stranded

When booking your next travel destination via Airbnb, be sure to always pay using the site's online system, or you could be scammed out of your money.

Free PayPal Money Scams: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam
8 July 2022 |

Free PayPal Money Scams: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam

Multiple free money scams that easily fall under the “too good to be true” scams that target loyal PayPal users with promises of free PayPal money.

Guides To Protect Against Automotive & Transport Scams

Sort by:
Guides in Other Categories...
McAfee Scam Email Claiming That Your Device is At Risk
23 November 2022 |

McAfee Scam Email Claiming That Your Device is At Risk

Phishing emails from scammers posing as McAfee are attempting to steal your private information such as credit card details, account logins, social security number, date of birth and more.

Best Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners
17 November 2022 |

Best Cybersecurity Courses for Beginners

Simple steps to protect yourself from common cyber threats

What is Apple Spatial Audio & Does it Really Work?
24 October 2022 |

What is Apple Spatial Audio & Does it Really Work?

Apple spatial audio has been around for a while now and is intended to provide a rich immersive experience when watching movies and listening to music.

Identity Theft: The Best Identity Theft Protection Services
17 October 2022 |

Identity Theft: The Best Identity Theft Protection Services

Over 1.4 million Americans reported being victims of identity theft in 2021. With the rapid rise of identity theft, it is now more likely that you will become a victim of identity theft than to have your car stolen.

Secure Your Mac: A Step by Step Guide to Avoid Getting Hacked
17 October 2022 |

Secure Your Mac: A Step by Step Guide to Avoid Getting Hacked

As Macs become more popular, they are increasingly becoming targets for malware and other security threats. There are some simple precautions you can take.

News About Automotive & Transport Scams

Sort by:
News in Other Categories...
Optus Data Breach - One of the Worst Cyberattacks in Australia
10 October 2022 |

Optus Data Breach - One of the Worst Cyberattacks in Australia

Hackers have gained access to 9.8 million customer records from Optus in Australia, exposing personal information such as driver licence, medicare and passport details.

Roe vs. Wade Overturned: Abortion Rights in Your State

Roe vs. Wade Overturned: Abortion Rights in Your State

Find out what the overturning of Roe vs. Wade means for abortion rights in your state.

Searches for "COVID Vaccine 5G" Hit All-Time High, But Microchips Definitely Not in Vaccine
2 February 2022 |

Searches for "COVID Vaccine 5G" Hit All-Time High, But Microchips Definitely Not in Vaccine

The number of people searching for the term "COVID vaccine 5G" on Google has just hit an all-time high, but there's one way to be sure that there are no microchips.

Social Media: The New Favorite Amongst Scammers
1 February 2022 |

Social Media: The New Favorite Amongst Scammers

Social media platforms are possibly the most used tools in committing fraud, responsible for $770 million in losses.

Beware When Scanning QR Codes, Even for Menus
20 January 2022 |

Beware When Scanning QR Codes, Even for Menus

The FBI is warning Americans about a new scam circulating in the country involving fraudulent QR codes in public places.