26 March 2020

The Most Common Passenger Scams Used On Uber Drivers

Driving for ride-hailing applications such as Uber may open you up to more passengers, and allow you to earn some extra money. However, it is also leaving you much more vulnerable to scams pulled by passengers and con-artists. Here is a list of the most common scams, and what you can do to avoid them.

Scam 1: Phone calls from Uber

How the scam works: You’ve just accepted a request from a passenger and are on your way to pick them up. Whilst you’re on your way, you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be Uber. From there, they will then ask you to cancel the ride, and claim that you will still be paid. The caller may also claim the passenger has a disability, and needs an accommodation your taxi cannot provide as a reason for the cancellation.

After cancellation, the caller will then ask for your email address, password, and eventually the confirmation code. Once done, the scammer will change the driver’s settings, and take out all the money earned by the end of the week.

How to avoid this scam: It’s important to remember that a ride-hailing service will never call you personally to cancel a ride, and will also never ask you to reveal any account information. After requesting a ride, a scammer will be able to see your name and phone number, and will use that to pose as Uber.

Scam 2: The fake prize

How the scam works: Similar to the last scam, after accepting a ride request from a passenger, you receive a phone call or text from someone claiming to be from Uber Support. They’ll tell you how you’ve just won a prize for numerous reasons, such as a 4.9 star rating or never cancelling a ride. After that, they’ll ask you for your account details, such as your email address, password and verification code.

How to avoid this scam: Uber have confirmed they do not hold competitions such as this. Uber will also generally contact users by email rather than direct phone calls, and will never ask drivers for their account information.

Scam 3: Cancelling Mid-Ride

How the scam works: You’ve just picked up your passenger and are on your way. Whilst on the way, the passenger cancels the journey. If the driver is unfortunate enough not to notice, they’ll only find out once the passenger has left and they can’t end the journey. The scammer has just had a free ride, and the driver has earned nothing.

How to avoid this scam: Make sure your phone isn’t on silent/vibrate mode, that way, the app will make a noise to notify you that the passenger has cancelled the journey. If this happens, pull over at a safe spot and tell your passenger to leave, as you are no longer getting paid.

Scam 4: Taking someone else’s ride

How the scam works: Someone enters your vehicle and asks you to say their name. You say the name of the passenger listed on the app, and they say it’s them. However, you later find out that you picked up the wrong passenger, and now the scammer has had a free ride.

How to avoid this scam: Keep your doors locked before picking up a passenger. Instead of mentioning their name when someone approaches your vehicle, ask them to reveal their name instead.

Scam 5: Asking to be dropped off at a different location

How the scam works: Your passenger asks you to drop them off at a McDonald’s 4 miles away, but during the journey, they request to instead be dropped off at the Burger King across the road. You decide to agree to this, because at the end of the day you’re still getting paid. However, once you’ve dropped the passenger off, you realise you didn’t get paid, as the passenger reported that you got lost on the way, and they decided to leave the taxi early.

How to avoid this scam: There’s usually no harm in allowing the passenger to be dropped off at a location that’s on the way to the intended destination. However, it’s best to ask them to personally change the location.

Additionally, installing an internal camera will ensure that any incident is recorded, and can be used to send to Uber if necessary.

Scam 6: Additional passengers

How the scam works: The passenger requests a vehicle, usually an UberX, which only allows for the driver and 4 passengers at one time. The passenger may try and slip in one extra person, hoping the driver won’t care, or won’t put up a fight and just let them be.

How to avoid this scam: Be firm. If someone tries to slip in an extra passenger, make sure they understand that you will not be moving until someone exits the vehicle.

Scam 7: Surges

How the scam works: Everybody who uses Uber knows that during a surge, prices will be a lot higher than usual. On occasions, you may encounter passengers who try to avoid this by requesting a ride somewhere outside the surge area, and then calling you once you accept, to tell you they’re actually somewhere else.

How to avoid this scam: Cancel the ride and report it to Uber. People don’t request a ride from a location far away from where they actually are by accident.

Scam 8: False Claims

How the scam works: You’ve finished your journey and all seems well. However, later you’ve been told by Uber that they’re investigating you, as someone claims that you were falling asleep whilst driving, or that your vehicle was unclean.

How to avoid this scam: Internal cameras will be your best friend in this situation, since they can be used to fight against these kinds of claims. Additionally, take regular pictures of your vehicle in a clean condition. This way, you can have photographic proof should someone try to claim your cab is dirty.

Scam 9: Cash For A Tip

How the scam works: The rider will ask the driver if they could give them a certain amount of money in tips on the app, in exchange for the driver giving half that back in cash. The rider then leaves the vehicle without ever intending to tip the driver on the app.

How to avoid this scam: If you’re going to exchange money, make sure it’s all in cash. However, be very careful when exchanging physical cash in an Uber vehicle. The user may decide to complain to Uber that you falsely charged them for the journey through cash.

Scam 10: The Extra Distance

How the scam works: The driver takes the user to their intended destination, only for the passenger to request they get dropped off just a mile further down the road. They may offer cash as an incentive to get you to carry on, but it’ll be far lower than what they would’ve paid had they requested the full journey on the app.

How to avoid this scam: Drop the passenger off at the destination marked on the app. If they refuse to leave the vehicle, do not hesitate to call the police.

Scam 11: The Wrong Destination

How the scam works: The rider may have started their journey in Runcorn, asking to be dropped off at Liverpool Lime Street station. However, when you arrive at the destination, they will claim there was some mistake and they were actually meant to be dropped off at the Liverpool South Parkway. They will then request you take them the extra distance, claiming they had no idea of the “mistake”.

How to avoid this scam: Similar to above, drop the passenger off at the destination marked on the app, and do not hesitate to call the police.

 

Uber Self Driving Volvo at Harrison at 4th” by Dllu, used under CC BY / Modified from original

 

Save money on your Taxi Insurance Renewal

Get Instant Quote Call: 01928263035

Get an instant online quote or speak to a member of our team

Why Choose Freeway?

Freeway is focused solely on private hire, public hire, executive car and Uber taxi insurance. We deal with taxi insurance – nothing else – and we think we do it better than anyone else.

It means we have an in-depth understanding of the industry and we’ve tailored our products around what UK taxi drivers really need.

Read More

The most comprehensive cover ‘as standard’. We’re confident we can't be matched on that.

Focused on speed. We know time is money and you want your cover sorted as quickly as possible.

We are constantly investing in technology so that we can make it easier for our customers to manage their policies.

Great track record in new driver prices. Less than two years no claims? We’re confident we can get you the very best price.

Our TrustPilot score says it all. We work hard to maintain our 5-star, Excellent rating.

We conduct regular research to stay on top of the changes affecting taxi drivers in the UK so we can keep you informed.

We have one of the best customer renewals rates in the industry. Our existing customers don’t need to look elsewhere.

We operate a 24/7/365 UK-based claims support team.

News

London Taxi Card Payments Rise Over 44% After Lockdown

As a lot of taxi drivers already know, the taxi industry was hit badly when the UK entered lockdown back in March 2020. With the number of rides falling by over 90% in some areas of the country, many drivers had to look for alternative methods to keep making money, whilst others chose to stay […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

Taxi Good News Round-Up

Tuk Tuks Could Soon Hit Monmouthshire (Gwent) Tuk-tuk taxis could soon be hitting the streets of Monmouthshire. Under new plans, tuk-tuks will be operated on specially designated tour routes, allowing up to 2 passengers to see sites across the county in a unique way. The news comes at a time when British staycations are expected […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

New £100,000 London Taxi Advertising Campaign Set For July

As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, people have slowly had to adjust to a new normal. For some returning to work, this has included having to find alternate ways to travel to work whilst social distancing remains in place. Whilst many are now turning to walking, cycling and driving to work, taxi drivers […]

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

Uber’s New Rules: No Sitting Up Front

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Uber has been making several changes to how its services operate. The first changes were established in early May. Drivers and passengers in certain regions were now required to wear face masks at all times when using the service. However, Uber has now announced an even bigger […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

TfL Will Work With The Taxi Industry When Designing New London Streetspace

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, along with Transport for London (TfL), have unveiled a bold new scheme to transform London’s streets to accommodate a potential rise in bike riders and pedestrians as the city slowly starts to emerge from lockdown. With London’s transport system potentially only running at a fraction of what it used to before […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

Top 7 Dash Cams For Cab Drivers

Whether you’re driving for Uber, Ola or Kaptin, or even in your own black cab, it is becoming more important each day to consider owning a dashcam. From recording potential incidents inside your vehicle, to recording anything around your vehicle, a dashcam can potentially be lifesaving. What are the laws for dashcams? Whilst every UK […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

London Taxi Drivers Receive Fake Licence Suspension Texts

As UK lockdown measures begin to ease, taxi drivers have been getting ready for an increase in passenger demand. However, many taxi drivers have received a strange text from someone claiming to be from TfL (Transport for London), informing them their licence has been suspended due to breaching government guidelines. The erroneous message reads as […]

Tuesday, June 9th 2020

Addison Lee and Uber To Install Partition Screens In Vehicles

Uber, as well as London-based private hire and courier Addison Lee, plan to install partition screens in their cabs in a bid to prevent coronavirus infections between drivers and passengers. This comes after it was revealed that taxi drivers are among those at the highest risk of death from the disease. Addison Lee claims to […]

Tuesday, May 26th 2020

Uber and Unilever Team Up To Provide UK Drivers With Hygiene Kits

Ride-hailing firm Uber has teamed up with the multinational business Unilever International to provide hygiene kits to Uber drivers and couriers all across the UK. Believed to be rolling out over the next few weeks, the partnership will be spread across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Unilever says the kit is one of a […]

Tuesday, May 26th 2020

Uber Axes 3700 Jobs Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the world, the taxi industry has been hit hard, with passenger journeys falling massively as the majority of the public remains in their homes. Many taxi companies have had to find different ways of generating income, from shopping for the vulnerable, to introducing food delivery services from restaurants. Uber […]

Wednesday, May 20th 2020

Next

Instant Quote