The Great UBER Scam

In a new UBER Scam, you can be charged for UBER trips, whether you took the trip or not. Indeed, it can happen whether or not you have an UBER account. How does this happen? READ ON:

Like many internet-based companies, UBER is dark and secretive, cloaked in a veil of obscurity. They completely lack transparency, transferring any responsibility for loss to the rider. But as we found out, you don’t even have the be a rider, or indeed, to have an UBER account.

To make matters worse, they’re notoriously difficult to contact when things go tits-up.

See Part II where UBER explains they require the account holder to repay UBER for any bank chargebacks

What can go wrong?

Problem 1:

Drivers can collect the wrong person, or accept a fare and not turn up.

While that might seem innocuous enough, you can’t hail another car until you’ve cleared the old request, at a price. That price is usually $10. That is a fat bump in UBER profits for doing nothing.

The onus is on the account holder to prove the driver was in error. Your only option is to seek assistance via the app. Multiple attempts at contact soon have a user losing the will to live.

I’ve never used UBER. I don‘t even have an account, so I’m OK.

Problem 2:

Not true. If you have a credit card, UBER wants your money whether you have an account or not. Anyone with a credit card is at risk.

Recently, my credit card details were stolen. How or when, is a matter consigned to the deep dark past.

It came to light when I logged in to my bank to make a few payments.

I was so startled, I almost dropped my G and T. As I looked down the list of debits, I spied more than a dozen UBER trips.

Upon checking my UBER app, I could not find these trips. In fact, I hadn’t used UBER for several months, yet almost $540 had been spirited into the ether. My surprise soon turned to anger.

After another calming bevy, I contacted UBER. They gave me every assistance, short of actual help.

They said there was a second account being billed to my credit card. Imagine my surprise.

While UBER insisted that I had in fact made the trips, my bank was more understanding. They said this is a fairly common scam.

My bank cancelled the card and issued a shiny new one.

50 fruitless contacts with UBER followed. There were emails, social media posts, and convoluted posts via the UBER app.

Each time, they insisted the trips on my credit card were mine. They failed to appreciate the significance of a stolen card.

They went on to say the two accounts had similarities, and the trips were “in line with trips made previously.”

They refused to provide receipts, although under current laws, a card holder is entitled to them. Things had started to become murky indeed. I insisted the second account be shut down immediately. They refused, saying, “the duplicate account could be closed in the mobile app.”

Once again, I explained my card was stolen, and the second account was not mine, but a fraudulent one set up to steal credit from my card.

Was the UBER problem resolved?

Rather surprisingly, the problem was resolved in the final communication with UBER.

In an apparent180, UBER said their internal investigation revealed the trips, and second account, were fraudulent after all. They still refused to furnish any kind of evidence. UBER said my money would be returned, and the second account closed down.

A further inspection of my bank account revealed all but one trip had been refunded.

What’s the fallout?

On this occasion, I managed a positive outcome.

A simple google search uncovered many kinds of UBER scams involving stolen cards.

Had I not persisted, $540 in UBER fares would have remained debited to my account. On the