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Last Updated on July 23, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
Driving can be a huge hassle when traveling. Traffic is a nightmare, parking is impossible to find and maybe you want to indulge in a cocktail or two and don't want to risk driving under the influence. The solution to these problems may be to give Uber a try. Have you ever tried using Uber? I have heard many stories about Uber scams and worry sometimes that it might not be a safe choice. If you are worried about avoiding Uber scams, here are a few smart tips to help keep you safe and protected on your next Uber ride home.
Tips for Avoiding Uber Scams
Whether you are traveling to London or staying here in the US, Uber can help you get around more easily. However, there are a lot of Uber scams you need to watch out for or you may lose money or endanger yourself!
Always Use the Uber App.
Remember there is no human interaction with Uber. Uber rides can only be requested through the Uber app, so never accept street solicitations from those claiming to be from Uber. The app is free and easy to download on your smart phone. If someone approaches you at an airport restaurant, or other location claiming to be Uber, tell them you’ve already reserved your ride.
Upfront Pricing and Unauthorized Charges.
Uber uses something called “Upfront Pricing” that estimates the cost of your trip upfront and charges you for that amount. In many instances, the actual trip price and upfront price can be off by quite a bit and Uber pockets the overage. If you feel the difference is excessive, contact Uber support straight away. Also, Uber passengers have found additional charges to their account for trips they didn’t take. Always double check the amount charged to your credit card to confirm the amount is correct and to make sure the trips are valid. You can avoid Uber scams by being vigilant about pricing.
Watch Out For Surge Pricing.
Price increases often take place during major events like concerts, known closing times of bars and nightclubs, and holidays. While a quick ride at 2:00 on a Monday afternoon might seem quite reasonable, if you try the same distance during a popular event, it’s very likely that you’ll end up paying several times the standard rate. Pay attention when reserving the ride or you may not even find out about the price increase until you receive your credit/debit card statement. Before using Uber, make sure you know how much your ride will cost.
Wait for Your Driver Inside.
Uber recommends that all passengers wait indoors in a safe spot until the driver arrives. The app offers a notification of the driver’s arrival. This feature helps keep you safe and provides an extra layer of protection against being solicited by a non-Uber driver. This is one of the most important ways that you can use Uber safely.
Confirm Your Driver.
Before getting into any car, always check that it is the correct car by confirming your driver’s car model, license plate, and name via the Uber app. Sometimes, Uber scams are hard to avoid unless you are very alert! Fake Uber drivers are a huge problem in the industry.
Choose Backseat Riding.
If you’re riding solo, opt to sit in the backseat. This ensures you have the choice of exiting either side of the car to avoid moving traffic. It will also give you some space from the driver.
Monitor Your Trip.
While en route to your destination, monitor the trip in your app and share your trip details with friends and family so they know where you are and when you’ve arrived safely to your destination.
Be Leary If Your Driver Tells You That He Accepts Credit Cards Or Cash.
With Uber, you never need to carry cash. Fares are charged to your payment information that's on file.
Do Not Share Personal Information.
Keeping your identity to yourself is the best tip for avoiding Uber scams. Do not share your personal information with your driver, such as telephone number or personal information. There is no reason the driver would need this information.
File a Complaint for Unsatisfactory Service.
If you felt your trip was unsatisfactory due to such things as a rude driver, threatening behavior, or reckless driving, contact Uber support and file a complaint. If you have a valid grievance, they will usually give you a ride credit as a compensation within 24 hours.
An Additional Word Of Advice.
Don’t disregard security precautions when creating and using online accounts and apps. For example, scammers might take pricey Uber rides in various locations that are then charged to your Uber account. In some cases, they even might invent fake Uber driver accounts and charge nonexistent rides—called ghost rides—to your account.
Do you have any other tips for avoiding Uber scams?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.