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Drivers. Telemarketer upon accepting a ride request from passenger. Has this happened to you?

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LCarpenter
219 Rider Driver
 Posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

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I have been seeing people ask questions around getting telemarketer spam calls while driving for Uber. Apparently, they call you during the trip, say whenever you are on route to pick up your pax or during the ride itself. Drivers often pick up because, well, you expect the funky number on your caller id is your passenger looking for you. 

The most eery thing is that it only happens during rides, so it must not be about these people's phone numbers being on some list.

I even heard this from a few of my fellow drivers that I know personally.  It hasn't happened to me yet.

Just a coincidence? Has it happened to anyone else? Is Uber selling our phone numbers or are they hacked?

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    Kendrix
    46 Driver
     5 months ago

    Actually, this may actually be possible. I am hesitant to give any ideas to scummy telemarketers, but here goes.  I will have to describe a few components of how Uber's phone system works.

    Uber uses a switchboard to connect drivers and riders without using people's personal phone numbers. We all are familiar with this, right? The phone numbers that appear on your caller IDs are not of those of real people's.  However these numbers are active and they do work...just for the duration that's needed. Uber does this to protect the privacy of the users on both sides.

    Here's the thing. those numbers are re-used over and over again, as there are only finite number of phone numbers in the world. The number is limited by how many phone numbers a company (i.e. the switchboard service) can own.

    Now for the telemarkers.  They have automatic software-driven phone dialers to place massive number of calls. All they need is a list of phone numbers.  What if they ...

    Read more...

    Actually, this may actually be possible. I am hesitant to give any ideas to scummy telemarketers, but here goes.  I will have to describe a few components of how Uber's phone system works.

    Uber uses a switchboard to connect drivers and riders without using people's personal phone numbers. We all are familiar with this, right? The phone numbers that appear on your caller IDs are not of those of real people's.  However these numbers are active and they do work...just for the duration that's needed. Uber does this to protect the privacy of the users on both sides.

    Here's the thing. those numbers are re-used over and over again, as there are only finite number of phone numbers in the world. The number is limited by how many phone numbers a company (i.e. the switchboard service) can own.

    Now for the telemarkers.  They have automatic software-driven phone dialers to place massive number of calls. All they need is a list of phone numbers.  What if they just use the list of numbers registered under the switchboard? They are static phone numbers that are being re-used all day along to serve 100s of million of users. So it's conceivable that Uber's numbers are being targetted and are being fed into these dialers.

    When you think about it, these numbers are prime targets for telemarketers. 

    • The audience is known and targeted. They are drivers, passengers, and people in transit. They can customize the content of the calls.
    • However, it has good coverage of wide range of audience. People of all ages, both genders, etc.
    • The calls to these numbers probably have good response rates. Calls made to these numbers are usually purposeful and Uber drivers and passengers rely on them as they seek for each other.
    • The numbers are being re-used constantly and at all times of the days. You cannot say that about people's home phones or even some individual
    • You cannot easily block it. The numbers that appear on your caller ID will be different every time.

    Do you think my theory is correct? I am hoping I am wrong here, and as I have never received these calls on my own, I am not sure whether any of this stands.

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    momof4
    7297 Rider Driver
     5 months ago

    I've had 2 calls after dropping riders off in past 2 weeks. The number that comes up usually has that generic number on Lyft. Uber here in Philly always uses jersey exchange. I thought a passenger may have left something when i check vm no message. They have been Lyft though not Uber

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    BiggestBallOfYawn
    26 Rider
     5 months ago

    I was going to say you got hacked, but I feel like this would be caused by Uber's swichboard getting hacked

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    AsStibelDude
    604 Driver
     5 months ago

    I am sure Uber is selling our information, but no I don't get any weird phone calls.

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    WWBlueStuff
    260 Driver
     5 months ago

    I heard this too. Never happened to me.

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    RedANT
    983 Rider Driver
     5 months ago

    I've seen an increase in telemarketer activity lately, but I don't think it's rideshare specific, since I get them on all of my lines, including my lines in Washington State, Colorado and Florida.

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    DimSumUng
    125
     5 months ago

    Your friends must be on a horrible scammer list elsewhere.  Tell them to stop clicking on weird phishing links

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    BrianTheScrewDriver
    408 Driver Driver
     5 months ago

    No sir. Never.  That is annoying though.