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5 Passenger / Rider Scams that Game the System - Drivers watch out!

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ippei
1201 Driver Rider Guru
 Posted 1 year, 7 months ago

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Thisn't for the faint of heart.  Five "popular" passenger scams that drivers need to watch out for.  Have you experienced any of these?

If you are a passenger, don't get any ideas.  Uber and Lyft are putting more and more countermeasures in place, and drivers are quick to catch on.

(source: RSG - The Rideshare Guy)

1) Dropping the Pin Outside of a Surge Zone

It didn’t take long for passengers to figure out this one.  Since surge and prime time zones are very localized, one street could be 2x and another could be 1.5x or even regular pricing.  What some passengers will do is move the pin around until they get out of a surge zone and then make their request.  At that point, they’ll either call the driver and let them know their real address or wait for the driver to pick them up and tell them “the GPS must be wrong”.

I’ve been noticing this hack with greater frequency over the past few months yet the TNC’s have done nothing about it.  Last week, Lyft finally made a small change that will require passengers to confirm their address when their dropped pin doesn’t match their GPS so we’ll see if that helps.

How to Avoid: I have a standard short cut text that I send after every request.  During surge times, I’ll use a second text that asks them to confirm their address and sometimes I’ll even call them depending on how far away the request is.  If I get to the pick-up destination and then discover they’re not there, I will wait 5 minutes and then cancel as a no-show to make sure that I get the cancellation fee.  I’ll als...

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Thisn't for the faint of heart.  Five "popular" passenger scams that drivers need to watch out for.  Have you experienced any of these?

If you are a passenger, don't get any ideas.  Uber and Lyft are putting more and more countermeasures in place, and drivers are quick to catch on.

(source: RSG - The Rideshare Guy)

1) Dropping the Pin Outside of a Surge Zone

It didn’t take long for passengers to figure out this one.  Since surge and prime time zones are very localized, one street could be 2x and another could be 1.5x or even regular pricing.  What some passengers will do is move the pin around until they get out of a surge zone and then make their request.  At that point, they’ll either call the driver and let them know their real address or wait for the driver to pick them up and tell them “the GPS must be wrong”.

I’ve been noticing this hack with greater frequency over the past few months yet the TNC’s have done nothing about it.  Last week, Lyft finally made a small change that will require passengers to confirm their address when their dropped pin doesn’t match their GPS so we’ll see if that helps.

How to Avoid: I have a standard short cut text that I send after every request.  During surge times, I’ll use a second text that asks them to confirm their address and sometimes I’ll even call them depending on how far away the request is.  If I get to the pick-up destination and then discover they’re not there, I will wait 5 minutes and then cancel as a no-show to make sure that I get the cancellation fee.  I’ll also turn on my other app at this point and try to get another request during that 5 minute waiting period.

2) Dropping the Pin Outside of Airport Premises

This is a slight variation of the above hack but since there is a geo-fence around some airports, a lot of passengers have figured out that you can just drop the pin outside of the geo-fence (where lots of drivers are waiting) and then request that the driver come into the terminal and get you.

There is no risk for the passenger with this strategy but the driver could face fines and possible impound if they get busted.  Lyft and Uber have been very good about covering fees in this situation but I’ve heard that they are going to slowly phase out that policy.  So drivers beware.

How to Avoid: Don’t go into the airports (unless pick-ups are ok at your local airport) to pick anyone up.  Let the passenger know why you can’t come get them, ask them to cancel the ride and take a shuttle outside the airport (and don’t forgot to tell them to tip the shuttle driver a $1 or $2 for the ride 

3) Lyftjacking Or Uberjacking (Stealing other people's rides)

I’ve read lots of stories about this one happening to unsuspecting drivers and it basically involves a passenger trying to steal someone else’s Lyft or Uber ride.  These ‘hackers’ will sometimes just get into your car if they see trade dress and let you know where they’re going.  5 minutes later you’ll get a call from your real passenger asking “Where the F are you going?!”  At this point, you’re in a tough situation because you’ve already started the trip on the wrong person and now you have someone in your car who you’re going to have to let out.  Just make sure that you’re as diplomatic as possible if this happens and e-mail support ASAP once you end the ride.

How to Avoid: I always ask the passenger to confirm their name instead of saying, “Hey are you Steve?”  Especially during surge times or at the end of an event when there are lots of people looking for their rides, it’s imperative that you find the right person.  I also turn on my flashers and try to make it easy for the right passenger to find me.  

4) Uber/Lyft Race

There are some passengers who will call an Uber and a Lyft at the same time and take whichever car arrives first.  I know because this has happened to me before as a driver.  I pulled up at a location and saw passengers getting into another driver’s car and shortly after, the ride was cancelled.

Uber and Lyft need to do a better job of punishing riders who cancel or abuse the system.  I don’t think there are many passengers that do this but it would be nice to see some repercussions for people who take advantage of drivers like this.

5) Canceling A Trip During The Ride

I’ve never personally experienced this but I’ve talked to many drivers who have had passengers cancel the trip halfway through or even as soon as the ride begins.  If drivers aren’t looking at their phone, then they might not even know that this has happened until they get to the destination.

How To Avoid: I always use the GPS on my phone to navigate even if I am pretty sure where we’re going.  That also means that I’ll see a cancellation notification/text every time I glance at the phone.  Just make sure that you don’t do it while you’re driving.  

The above is 5 out of the 10 from Harry's article.  Read more here.

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Comments

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    SpikeSparkle
    161 Rider
     1 year ago

    You forgot the Service Dog Scam, where every pet brought on board is a service dog.  ...or worse, "emotional support animal."

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      DrJill
      81 Driver
       6 months ago

      As I am severely and dangerously allergic to dogs, I will not take any animal.  I have medical documentation from 2 MDs that Uber has on file, I explain to a rider with a critter my allergy is so severe that they will need to call 911 within 2 minutes - and maybe a tow truck if I could not breathe and run into a tree or telephone pole.  They all refuse to enter my vehicle and I do cancel to save them the cancellation fee which smoothes the ruffled feathers or fur.


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      jillifitz
      1 Driver
       11 months ago

      Untill there is a nationl registery, and photo ID's for the dogs...or peacocks, there is no way to tell if it's for real or Aunt Martha just wants to take Mr. Fluffington to the store with her. I have a cheap Wal-Mart blanket I toss over the back seat and wellcome the fuzzy little bastard aboard.

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        AsStibelDude
        624 Driver
         5 months ago

        The worst is getting a poor rating from the next passenger due to the smell of a wet dog. I’ve been dinged in that before. There’s no winner there. 

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        EllaOfCinder
        203 Rider
         11 months ago

        You just answered my question. So there is NOT a national registry for these animals?  There aren’t any IDs or whatever vendors and authorities can check? That’s crazy to me. 

        Peacock. LOL!

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    MattParry99
    79
     1 year ago
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    KyleBenhart
    11
     5 months ago

    Uber Lyft race does not bother me as long as i get the cancelation fee. Problem is with both there are requirements to actually get the cancelation fee to the driver. Time waited b4 cancel or actually ariving b4 cancel. 

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      ChrisWeston
      94 Rider
       5 months ago

      True. Higher cancellation fees and lower threshold now made cancellations something drivers desire rather than fear. 

      I mean there are driver scams around collecting cancellation fees now.  That just shows you

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    RainbowRash
    101 Rider
     1 year ago

    Dropping the pin outside of the surge zone?!  Wow, genius.

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      SmittenKitten
      1975 Rider
       1 year ago

      so wrong though.  so gaming the system.

      Would a better surge mechanism help this?  Like, if the pick up moves to a surge zone, the surge kicks back in? I feel like Uber can solve this with additional logic in its app.

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        TonyAlmeida
        1133 Rider
         1 year ago

        Yeah, they should make the pricing for where the pick up occurs, not where the request theoretically came from.

        If the dude physically walks outside of the surge and requests a ride, I think that's legit.  

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          SmittenKitten
          1975 Rider
           1 year ago

          but the passenger doesn't have the cool surge map on their phone, so they really cannot do that, right?

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      AnthonySn.d
      35
       6 months ago

      This no longer works, right?   Now that the surge follows the driver after they’ve been in the zone

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      TrixiForkids
      70
       1 year ago

      Wait, what?  Then what?  Run to that location while the car is on its way?

      You know the drivers can see you on the gps, right?

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        mboscorelli
        253 Rider
         1 year ago

        actually, no.  Drivers cannot see your gps location on real time.  They just see where the request came from. 

        That'd be a crazy privacy issue, right

        Now, Uber's employees....they can see everything.  I mean, did they ever fix that?

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    sCloudMeNot11
    31
     1 year ago

    I am sorry but I feel like dropping the pin out of the surge zone is genius.  I mean, I feel bad for the driver, and it isn't fair, but it sort of undermines the whole Uber app.  

    Though, can't Uber figure this out and fix the problem?  Just base the surge active if the ride actually starts in a surge zone.  Make it be a part of the pickup location not the request location

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      Bigfrank
      420 Driver Driver Rider
       1 year ago

      I like the stick the pin up your diplomatic ass. Admit it , your a total tipless tightwad. 

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      DonutDrivers
      239 Driver Driver
       1 year ago

      You sir is an a-hole.

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    jbauer
    391 Driver
     1 year ago

    Uberjacking is so damn annoying.  People prey for that crap outside bars at closing times.  Usually young assholes, who think this is so funny.  It causes so much trouble for both drivers and other riders.  Come on... UberX is so cheap.

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    momof4
    7983 Rider Driver
     5 months ago

    Not sure this is a scam or coincidence. Had a rider's mom order an Uber (he was in his 40's). After 10 min. into long trip he decided he wanted to give me directions. 3 GPS apps were directing me in a different direction which I brought to his attention. He insisted I take his route. I screen shoted the route I wanted to take and had also sent texts to another driver after trip about my concerns as trip took 25 min longer than it should. I should've contacted Uber but didnt think of it at the time as I was tipped 10.00 so didnt thimk there was an issue. However I did rate rider 4 stars because of the route he had me take. Two days later Uber took 9.77 away. I sent screenshots of texts and GPS and explained. I was getting nowhere. I called customer service and they gave me my money back. I checked the app all they gave me was 5.57. I tried messaging back and finally gave up as it was taking me more time then it was worth. I truly believe Uber instructs CS to give us wrong...

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    Not sure this is a scam or coincidence. Had a rider's mom order an Uber (he was in his 40's). After 10 min. into long trip he decided he wanted to give me directions. 3 GPS apps were directing me in a different direction which I brought to his attention. He insisted I take his route. I screen shoted the route I wanted to take and had also sent texts to another driver after trip about my concerns as trip took 25 min longer than it should. I should've contacted Uber but didnt think of it at the time as I was tipped 10.00 so didnt thimk there was an issue. However I did rate rider 4 stars because of the route he had me take. Two days later Uber took 9.77 away. I sent screenshots of texts and GPS and explained. I was getting nowhere. I called customer service and they gave me my money back. I checked the app all they gave me was 5.57. I tried messaging back and finally gave up as it was taking me more time then it was worth. I truly believe Uber instructs CS to give us wrong answers or hires dumbasses to give us wrong answers so we get fed up and stop asking for our money.  A week later had another ride on Lyft a scheduled trip. Rider insisted I take different route and also called Lyft because price changed from quote. She also changed address from original one although it was not much further. Lyft did back me on this one and refused to change price. Drivers just beware when riders ask you to take a different route. I now screenshot all routes that i intend to take (Waze). If rider tells me to take different route than GPS  I notify Uber or Lyft immediately following trip. I've also heard of a driver through another driver that she was deactivated after 3 riders reported she took longer routes in one month. She claims she followed GPS. She fought it and did get reactivated. True or not I dont know but I know what I just dealt with so just beware.

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    momof4
    7983 Rider Driver
     5 months ago

    I drive XL and X. I have a few rides people ordered Uber X seen I had bigger car and had friends jump in. Some even cancelled their Uber because it was taking too long. Sure go ahead fill all 7 seats because as soon as I drop you off I am sending message to Uber and getting XL fare. I usually wait to send message until next morning after they tip as I know most likely they rated me then. Not only do I get til and 5 stars but get increase in fare. Had a group of really obnoxious guys tell me they purposely order Uber X and cancel before fee kicks in until they get bigger car. I took them they tipped me 10.00 cash, gave me 5 stars and exited. Figured they tipped because I took them when there was 5 and didnt complain. Next time they checked app they were in for big surprise. Stop trying to screw drivers to save a few bucks. 

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    Bigfrank
    420 Driver Driver Rider
     1 year ago

    If a passenger cancels a trip at any point while in the car that is called theft of services which is a crime. I would immediately tell them that I will call 911 t immediately if I don't see make cash or a credit card to pay the unpaid mileage.  Secondly all drivers should Always keep your navigation On regardless if a passenger tells you another way or you know a better way. With your nav on you will know if these scumbags cancel for a freebie.

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    BeMatt
    106 Rider
     1 year ago

    This is more gaming Uber (the company), but if I have a ton of free promos, I will have my driver only drive me part of the way to my destination then stop the ride, then request again (while staying in the car), have the driver "pick up" my ride and start a "new" trip. I will do this a few times throughout the Uber trip to get virtually free rides instead of only getting one $5 amount off of a $20 ride.

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      amcbeth
      339 Rider Driver
       1 year ago  (edited 1 year ago)

      This post is interesting. I wonder if the driver would get paid less when making 5 short trips rather than one long trip? 

      I had a rider that I knew in siiting in my car. We were going to the airport.

      He insisted on doing the right thing and requested the ride through Uber. To our surprise he got another driver. Why, I don't know. He canceled and requested again and got me.

      I say this because, this could happen to the rider with many promos.

      I wouldn't go for this myself. You might turn a 20 minute trip into a thirty minute trip.

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    RelaxedRecliner
    57
     1 year ago

    These are genius.  I will make sure to implement them next time I am out in town.

    Show Hide  3 Replies
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      ThomBrady
      121
       1 year ago

      yousuck.  the whole point is that you NOT do this.  do the right thing and don't game the system.

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      CaptainChampion
      128
       1 year ago

      what's wrong with you.  and they will catch you.

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        BehindTheName
        113 Rider
         6 months ago

        You gotta admit. We all thought omthe same when reading this.