As an Uber or Lyft driver, unfortunately you are bound to run into a passenger with the intent to game the system. It’s unavoidable. Here are six common scams still prevalent in 2019 and what you as a driver need to do in each situation to combat being taken advantage of. Let’s jump right into it.
During pool rides I have had people cancel the ride after I stopped to pick up an additional passenger. They request to be dropped off at the same spot where another passenger is getting in. By the time the new passenger enters the car and marked picked up the first rider exits and cancels. They assume that the driver is doing a pool ride and does not remember names, pick up locations, time of pick up and just scam the rideshare company and the driver. Because the driver cannot stop the pool ride and call Uber immediately, they think they fall through the cracks and get away with it. If this happens to you, make a quick voice recording note of the name, pick up location, drop-off location and time. When the pool ride is over, turn off the app and call Uber immediately.
An agitated rider gets in and starts complaining about everything. You brace for the aftermath. He/she may go into great lengths to list the complaints against you and your service, none of them existing. Remain silent. After the drop-off turn the app off, call Uber, report the rider, always rate them 1 star and explain everything you heard and saw. It is 100% a scam that people employ to get a free ride and future ride credits. By investing 5 minutes of your time and reporting this kind of behavior you help eliminate these scammers from the market. Eventually Uber deactivates riders with multiple complaints.
Wrong number of Passengers
You get a ding. At the pick-up location there are 5 people and start pleading it is OK, they will be OK. Your car can only take maximum 4 passengers. They claim they’ll give you a better tip. Riders do this to avoid paying for multiple rides. If you decide to take this ride, you can get stopped by the police, get into an accident and cannot justify the situation and you can face deactivation. Do NOT take the ride. It’s not worth it to risk your livelihood (or part of) on a ride that may offer some extra cash or good vibes from your passenger.
Rides off the app
You are about to drop off someone. They tell you that they are going elsewhere in 3 minutes and if you would take them there off the app for cash. Do not do it. It is a safety issue. First, you have no idea where you are taking them, secondly, you do not know if they will pay you and third, no one knows where you are with a stranger.
Six months ago I had a Lyft ride and it seemed like it was not going to end. Every time we reached the destination the rider would have me change his destination to another address. The Lyft app allows for drivers to change the destination whereas the Uber app does not. As soon I stopped to type in the new destination he opened the car door, made an exchange with someone and then closed the door and we continued. We did three rides back to back like this. What do you think the exchanges may be? Who knows, don’t speculate but that is a scary way to give rides. If this occurs end the ride and ask the rider to exit the car politely. You never know if the exchanges take a bad turn.
Reversed pick-up and drop off
You get a ding for a 3 minute ride in a not so safe neighborhood. You show up at the “pick up” and someone tells you that this is the drop off for his friend who is waiting 4 blocks away. He/she also tells you they can ride with you to get their friend. This happened to me. This is a casing of you and your vehicle for a car jack. If you allow the person in your car, half way through the ride you get your car stolen. If this happens, cancel, leave and report it. It seems like an innocent error and it can be. Use your better judgement to gauge the situation.
Fake accounts and fraudulent Uber rides
This you cannot help, people will always look for an edge to get free services. A con will create an account with stolen identities and credit cards. This compromises your safety but it is rare and if it does happen you will not know or prevent it.
Be safe, be careful, be aware and perhaps consider investing in a dashcam for some extra peace of mind. Happy driving!
Have you ever been scammed as an Uber or Lyft driver? Share your experiences and help inform your fellow Uber driver. Comment below!