Rideshare apps, such as Uber and Lyft, have made getting around very easy. A simple click of a button on your phone, and you can summon a ride. Unfortunately, as there is money involved, there are also some Uber scams to watch out for. Most Uber drivers are honest. Most wouldn’t want to risk damaging their ratings by pulling these scams. Some Uber drivers, though, are not as honest as they should be. As many of us use Uber when we are in a rush, or coming home after a night out, these scams can happen without us even realizing it. So, to help make sure you don’t get caught out, here are 10 Uber scams to watch out for.
1. Fake Uber Drivers
At locations where people often wait for Uber rides, such as large airports, a lot of people have been caught out by fake Uber drivers. These scammers will approach people waiting for an Uber car and ask them to cancel the ride and pay in cash. If this does happen, it is very likely the car driver is not even an Uber driver at all. If you cancel a ride and you travel in one of these fake Uber cars, Uber will charge you a cancellation fee. Plus, you will be paying cash to ride in an unregistered car that may not be safe.
2. Uber Scams – Upgrades You Didn’t Ask For
If you go out with friends and order an UberX, make sure that you don’t get charged for an UberXL. Uber drivers are allowed to upgrade your ride like this because of the riders who bring along more people than they should. However, some drivers will take advantage of this and upgrade you even if you have the right number of people. If the driver does this, you will end up paying almost twice as much for your ride.
3. Asking for Cash Payment
In some cities, you can elect to pay Uber drivers in cash. Drivers have been known to cancel a ride just before they turn up. They then claim that the rider selected the cash payment option. If you didn’t select cash payment, don’t pay in cash. If you do, the driver can charge whatever they like, and you will have to pay the Uber cancellation fee as well.
4. Asking the Rider to Pay Tolls
The cost of any tolls paid on an Uber journey is charged to you by Uber. The driver should not charge you for them separately. Uber drivers have been known to ask for passengers to pay tolls in cash. If you pay the driver in cash, you will end up paying for the toll twice.
5. Fake Cleaning Fees
This Uber scam is usually targeted at groups. Some drivers use this scam to punish riders they didn’t like. They will claim that their car was damaged by the group or it needed cleaning. Fake cleaning charges can increase the cost of the ride by $100 or more. If you think that the driver may do this, take photos of the car before you get out of the car. If you believe that you have been charged a fake cleaning charge, take it up with Uber.
6. The Ride Cancellation Uber Scam
If you cancel an Uber ride after two minutes, you will probably be charged a cancellation fee. Some drivers play on this to earn some extra money. Drivers may deliberately not drive towards you in the hope that you will cancel. If you call them to see where they are, they may say they will be with you in a few minutes, and then not turn up at all. If you then cancel the ride, it will look like it’s your fault. The driver will pocket a cancellation fee and you’ll have to pay up. If you think you have been scammed in this way, ask Uber for a refund of the cancellation fee.
7. Asking for a Re-request to Get the Surge Price
At peak times, Uber charge more for rides. If you order a ride just before the peak times, some drivers will tell you that there is a problem with the Uber app. They will then ask you to cancel and re-request the ride. When you re-book your ride, the price will have gone up. Always check your own app before you fall for this Uber scam. If you think that something is not right, screenshot the estimate of your fare and send it to Uber with a complaint.
8 Faking a Problem with the App
If you have ordered a non-cash ride, you should never have to pay in cash. There have been reports if Uber drivers telling riders that something is wrong with the app. They then ask for cash instead. They take the cash, and you get charged on your credit card as well. If this Uber scam is pulled on you, terminate the ride and report the driver to Uber.
9. The Trip Goes on After you Have Got Out of the Car
When you arrive at your destination, the Uber driver is supposed to complete the ride on the app. They do this by swiping to the right. If they drive off without doing this, you will get charged for the extra miles. Check the app on your phone when you get out of the car to make sure that the ride is completed. If extra charges are being added by the driver, report it Uber.
10. Fake Uber App
Our final Uber scam is not a scam that Uber drivers will try, it’s a scam to get hold of your Uber account details. There is a bogus Uber app around that looks the real thing, but it will steal your Uber login details. It can be hard to spot, because the bogus app redirects to the real app. So, you don’t realize what is happening. There have also been some scam emails asking for Uber login details. As always, the advice is don’t download apps unless you are 100% sure of the source. And, don’t provide any login details in response to emails or text messages.
We wouldn’t want you to come away from reading this post thinking that every Uber driver is dishonest. There are more than 15 million Uber rides completed every single day. Most of them without any hitch at all. But we hope that being aware of these Uber scams will prevent you becoming one of the victims. In the same way as being aware of these rideshare safety tips will help keep you safe. If you found our list of Uber scams useful, please do share it with your friends on social media. If you’d like to receive updates from us, please subscribe to our mailing list. Many thanks for visiting Best Panic Alarm. Have a great day and stay safe!