Using Uber is a great way to get around – but there are precautions you should take when using their services.
Keep in mind that in South Carolina a young student was murdered after she mistook a car for her Uber ride. Internationally there have been a few unfortunate incidents of ubduction and rape.
Therefore – take precautions in whichever country you are. Uber warns of fake drivers who target people who are distracted, under the influence, elderly or impaired in some way.
To keep safe:
Check the make and model of your ride
- When you request a ride through the app, Uber shows you the driver’s name and photo.
- Uber provides the make of the vehicle, the model and the license plate.
- In some cities (like New York) you can look for the driver’s license or certificate displayed in the car.
- If you’re helping someone who is inebriated or unfamiliar with Uber to request a ride, try to accompany them to the Uber car and help them double check that the car and the driver match the information on the app.
- If you have the chutzpah – ask to check the boot (the trunk) of the car. An accomplice could be hiding there.
Ask the driver who he's there to pick up. Don't give him your name
- Uber drivers will have been shown the name of their new passenger on the Uber driver app. He will thus have your name.
- Don’t ask “Are you here for…?” Thus giving away your name. All the scammer then need to do is say “Yes”.
- Instead ask the driver who they are looking for.
- If the information doesn’t match up, don’t get into the car.
- Go to a safe place and wait for the correct car.
- OR cancel the ride, or report it to Uber.
- OR go a safe place and call 10111 in South Africa.
Inform family or friends of your uber trip details
- Inside the Uber app, you can add trusted contacts as well as family members. Share your ride details with them.
- To find the options, hit the left menu button, and then touch “settings”.
Don't use your home address
As an extra precaution, Uber suggests you use the nearest cross-streets to your location for pick-up and drop-off. This allows you to avoid using your home address.
- Uber relies on ratings from passengers and drivers on every trip.
- If nothing explicitly happened to you, but something else made you uncomfortable, reporting it could help the company’s automated systems identify a problematic pattern with the driver.
Trust your instincts
- Lastly, Uber says, if something doesn’t feel right, get somewhere safe and report the issue.
- “Trust your instincts and use your best judgement when riding with Uber”, says the company. “If you feel you’re in an emergency situation, call 10111”.
Picture source: https://wccftech.com/uber-ipo-on-the-rocks-as-us-shutdown-rolls-on/