5 Uber Scams Everyone Should Be Aware Of

Uber Scams and Other Tricks: How They Work

Uber is one of the most popular transportation platforms in the world, operating in 633 cities worldwide. With over 1 billion rides up to date, it was the 10th most downloaded app last year. However, the popularity brought out a lot of Uber scams, as well.

Let’s take a look at all the scams, weaknesses, and tricks that revolve around this taxi technology company. The first part of the article addresses to you as the Uber passenger in danger, while the second refers to the Uber drivers as victims. Let’s take a look.

Watch the video below to see in video form the most common Uber scams exposed:

Feel free to contribute with your experience in the comments section, including your take on the Uber Say My Name movement. Let’s dig into a bunch of Uber scams.

1. Fake Uber App

The bogus Uber app targets Android users using the Android.Fakeapp malware. This is how it works: after download. the phony application launches a login screen that looks almost identical to Uber’s legitimate version. Once the user enters their user ID and password and hits “next,” the malware launches the real Uber app, producing no cause for suspicion.

Now the criminal has your credentials (ID and password) and access to your account.

uber scams and tricks

2. Unrequested Uber Upgrade

Let’s say it’s a big night for you – a birthday, private event, or a simple gathering with friends. You order an UberX for you and three buddies. The vehicle shows up, and it’s a great, clean Toyota that gets you where you plan to go.

However, the next day you get a notification from Uber which comes with bad news. It says that due to the number of people in your group, your ride was upgraded to an UberXL. That means that your fare is now almost double.

uberxl upgraded car back seats

This trick is a bit harder to avoid but not impossible. Here is why: you can be charged more if your group (and your luggage if you are going to the airport, for example) exceeds the capacity of the vehicle class.

This measure was implemented by Uber to prevent, say, five people with ten traveling bags from ordering a compact car and hoping they’re getting away with it. Fair and square.

However, some greedy drivers abuse this feature. If it happens to you like in the case mentioned above, challenge the upgrade and explain the situation to the company.

If during the ride you feel the driver is not happy with your group or slightly references the ‘crowd’, don’t be shy to take some snapshots with your phone. Better safe than sorry.

3. Canceling Your Uber Ride x 20

This scam happens around places where drivers wait on short-term parking areas with their app on.

Say you’re in an airport and call a ride. The vehicle seems to be right there, however, it doesn’t move. Six minutes later, it’s still there. You decide to call to see what’s going on but nobody answers.

Shortly after, you get a text message from the driver saying “I’ll be there in two minutes”. However, 3-4 minutes later, no car shows up.

cancel uber ride car in parking lot

Related Read: Lyft Scam

Your nerves are not that strong anymore, so you cancel, which means get charged a $5 fee. Little do you know that the driver repeats the process all day and many other clients are being taken for a different kind of ride.

Uber almost always gives you a $5 credit if you challenge a cancellation, but it’s still bothering to have to start the process of requesting another ride. Nowadays, the cancellation fees apply in two minutes instead of five like they used to. If you see a vehicle hasn’t moved within the first minute after you ordered it, call the driver.

Now you know that if he doesn’t pick up, you should cancel.

4. Re-request the Uber Ride for Surge Price

You’ve been having a great day, everything goes well, and the ride you just ordered was a block away. However, as you get in the vehicle, you hear the driver mumbling something about the Uber app being messed up a bit.

“Could you please re-request the ride?”, he might ask. “It’ll be quick. I’ll accept ride away”, he adds. You don’t pay attention to anything else and comply with his friendly demand.

uber surge charge phone app

Recommended Read: ProofCam 107 Scam

What you don’t know is that the fare has just gone up 35%, because surge pricing has come into effect. The Uber app did not mess up, it was just a little trick to get his fare higher. Don’t re-request a ride before going into your app to check if it indeed malfunctioned.

The point is, since the driver didn’t want to cancel the ride himself and therefore lose money, he asked you to do it. Just tell him it works fine on your end and ask to see his phone. It is not a time to get shy.

If you feel something is fishy, screenshot your first fare estimate then send it to Uber. They will sure adjust the final charge. Meanwhile, make sure you don’t fall for fake customer service representative if you decide to complain on Twitter.

5. Fake Cleaning Fee

It’s Saturday night, and you and your party had an amazing time out. It’s 3AM, and the conveniently located ride-share just dropped you and your friends at home, after stopping by for some never-tasted-so-good fast-food.

The next day, what you thought was a $35 ride happens to be $150, thanks to a unilaterally assessed “cleaning fee” because of that one dirty napkin you left behind from your fast-food meal during the trip.

First things first – if you left a mess in the vehicle you deserve the charge, so you shouldn’t complain. However, from a napkin to a vomit session in a car is a long way, so drivers must provide photographic evidence that their car was trashed.

uber cleaning fee

The problem is, some unethical drivers are not shy about setting up their seats to look that they’ve been vandalized if they didn’t like their clients.

If you are with a big group, have been tipsy and a bit loud you are a good ‘candidate’ for an extra fee. If you feel the situation could generate into such a thing, take pictures of the inside of the car when you leave.

It’s also a good idea to check your fare and credit card immediately so you can challenge it promptly if a problem arises.

Additional Scam: 6. Your Uber Code Is… Text Message From Admin

A big wave of questionable text messages is going around these days. They say: “Your Uber code is… If This wasn’t you reply STOP to 07903561836”. What is this?

Users are receiving this text when someone is trying to hack their Uber account via email registration. The illegitimate attempt to access the account by the scammers trying to use the user’s credentials prompts the real Uber to send these text notifications, to verify if the user is the one who was supposed to. However, Uber’s text message is a bit ambiguous, although the number (07903561836) seems to be a legitimate Uber admin phone number.

To make sure the text message is authentic, we contacted Uber. Here is their response:

“We’re sorry to hear about any alarm this may have caused. It appears that your account may have been accessed illegitimately using your login credentials. As a security precaution, we have changed your account password. If you haven’t done so already, please create a strong and unique password when you reset your password. You can update your Uber account password by following this link:


Additionally, we recommend changing your email address on your Uber account as an extra security precaution. This is also a good time to ensure you are using different email and password combinations across your accounts to prevent unauthorized access. We want you to know that we absolutely take situations like this seriously. Please know that your payment information is not stored on your Uber account. They are protected as we only hold the last 4 digits of your card on our application.”

Additional Scam: 7. Uber New Device Sign In, Password Change

In this scam, victims receive emails similar to the one in the image below. The message looks like it’s coming from the real Uber admin, notifying users of some sort of unusual activity on their accounts. The email says: “New device sign in. Your Uber account was used to sign in on the following device. Please review the details below to confirm it was you.”

The victims know that haven’t signed into their Uber accounts from a different device, so they quickly access the link provided by the scammers. Little do they know they offer their password to criminals on the fake sign-in page. Beware!

uber new device sign in password change

Uber: Say My Name Movement

There has been a lot of discussion about his topic in the last year. The Uber Say My Name Movement started after a young South Carolina student was killed after mistaking a car for a Uber she was waiting for. Her family started the campaign that made now every passenger ask the driver “What’s my name?” before getting in the vehicle.

However, the drivers feel like this is not necessary, yet insulting, as the passengers could easily identify the car by the license number that appears on their app. On the other hand, there have been some free rides using the Uber Say My Name scam. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below, as it’s a sensitive topic. Meanwhile…

Watch the video below to see how the Uber Say My Name movement went wrong:

What If You Are A Uber Driver? What Should Be Aware Of?

Watch the video below to see some Uber scams that target the drivers:

Uber Drivers Beware Video

Uber Scams: How To Report Them

Warn your family and friends know about all these Uber scams by sharing this article using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to Uber using the link below:

Report Scammers To Uber Here

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

20 thoughts on “5 Uber Scams Everyone Should Be Aware Of”

  1. In July ’19 – Uber attempted to charge my account for a trip – when no such trip had been requested by any of my family.

    Then on March 3 – 2020, My wife called an Uber to pick up her and my Down syndrome son from Hospital to return home.
    The first driver then called and he cancelled the trip
    the same occurred when my wife called Uber for the second time.
    Success on the 3rd attempt.

    The two trips cancelled by Uber drivers fraudulently cclaimed that my wife had cancelled the trips/

    This was totally unaceptable to me, and I gave Uber 48 hrs to mmake restitution of the fraudulent cancellation fees in an email forwarded to them within minutes of my wife’s return home.

    Now within the net 48 hours you can searh the Internet for "Uber condones Driver Fraud"

  2. Thulani Mbombo

    I was charged a cleaning fee of something I have no knowledge of. When I disputed the matter Uber eventually refunded me some of the money, they refused to refund all of it saying my past trip fare has now been adjusted to a ridiculously higher amount than I had paid for, and of course the difference was taken from the rest of the amount they refused to refund. After such an experience, it’s clear to see that both Uber and it’s drivers cheat their customers of as much money as they can. I am done with uber.

  3. Driver arrives (Jairo) and when I reach for the door he pulls away. I could have been hurt…I cannot find a way to call UBER…Not all of us are cell-phone savvy…Why can’t UBER have an 800 number to call…This man should not be driving.

  4. Uber driver Yoelvis is a fraud. I am my 3 children took the trip to their school. my oldest 2 kids were on their phone playing games and the youngest was asleep. no one had any liquid or food. No one vomit but i was charged $80 for cleaning fee. When i asked uber for him to send pictures from the camera in the car showing i did this they refused to help. He is a fraud i hope he gets what is coming to him. Gold does not like ugly.

  5. Scam 1: I had a 50% October discount by paying with Mastercard. Suddenly they add a 15% discount and this is the one they apply now on October rides. They say the last one added takes priority and they were saying I was the one who added it… a joke!!!

    Scam 2: Promo code displayed on a Jump uber bike offered the first ride for free and didn’t work. I paid for the ride…

  6. To be clear, drivers are not running scams on passengers routinely. Uber will kick a driver off the platform for even the slightest anomaly. Even a minor complaint from a passenger is enough to get a driver banned. Most scams are from the public trying to get free rides, or get the drivers information so they can steal money from his or hers account. If you have a problem just politely mention it to your driver. They would much rather fix the issue than get fired.

  7. Joseph DeCapua

    You get on your phone and order a ride. After the driver takes the request, you get a call from someone claiming to be from UBER calling to "verify your credit/ debit card Info. It seems legit because how else would they know you have just ordered a ride. So if you give up your banking INFO, they start spending your money BEFORE you have a chance to call your bank AND cancel your card. This is especially dangerous with a DEBIT CARD as they can drain your checking account in a short period of time!!!! In my case, the female caller had my debit card number, exp. date, AND the 3 digit code on the back of my card, she could have "WIPED ME OUT" then and there, however, she then asked me for my PIN NUMBER. At this point, I knew I had been scammed, and would not give her my PIN. Not 2 minutes later I pulled up my bank acct. Info, and they had already charged $50 on my account. I then called my bank to "CANCEL MY CARD" By the time I got through to my banks fraud department, they had charged $165 to my account, Including out of state charges in Denver, Colorado. So, It must be an UBER DRIVER, or someone with an UBER APP, for example an ex-driver, or an UBER Employee!!! IF this happens to you, call the FTC to report them at 1-877-382-4357. The number they called me from in Michigan was 313-246-8870. If you get a call from this number, DO NOT ANSWER IT, especially IF you have just ordered an UBER RIDE..

  8. The one with the canceled trips isn’t meant to be a scam. Drivers can not cancel trips because they get dinged by uber/lyft and the drivers rating goes down. The driver doesnt want your trip for $3 when they can get one for $20. Drivers cant see exactly where you are going until the ride is accepted. And what can be seen runs by the screen so fast important information is missed. If uber/lyft didnt ding drivers for canceled trips i think this problem would be avoided.

  9. You should add the wait time scam, it’s extremely common. I get it every other business trip. The driver marks themselves as arrived whilst they’re on a queue to ride-share pickup, or stuck behind a turning truck or something. Twice i’ve had a waiting charge where i’ve seen the uber but not physically been able to get in yet, because it’s in the middle of the road waiting to turn in, or a slow-moving queue of ubers getting to the designated hotel pick-up spot. In both cases i’ve opened the door and been in within 10 seconds of it stopping. You won’t see it unless you check your invoice. Complaint both times and got it credited.

  10. Just wanted to tell you, my husband and I almost got into a scam. It showed the picture of a black guy and his car, thinking nothing of it. When he came, my husband said where is your sticker. As he kept questioning, the guy just took off! If we had gotten into the car, who knows what would have happened! This was in Milwaukee, WI. Just had to tell you about this scam.

    1. I was brisk walking on the estate we live on in Cape Town South Africa when three blacks guys surrounded me and gunpoint and stole my cell device and beat earphones. The getaway driver had an Uber vehicle which the three guys got into and sped off. They were caught on camera. In a separate incident my husband and I along with our baby were left at the Cape town Airport at 11pm. We booked the first Uber ride. Driver said he is two minutes away. We were charged and the driver never pitched up. We booked the next ride and the Uber driver app stated driver is at the airport however he never pitched. It was scary and frustrating. We eventually got ahold of an honest Uber driver who took us home safely. I will never ever put my family at risk with Uber again. Not worth it.

  11. LYFT AND UBER DRIVERS ARE HANGING OUT AT AIRPORTS AND CHERRY PICKING RIDES WHICH WASTES RIDERS TIMES ! The Driver shows up and finds out where you need to go and it is too far they cancel it and you have to try and find another. LYFT AND UBER IS A SCAM !!!

  12. We called an uber and when we got in the car he said the ride had been cancelled so we said we would get out and call another, he said its fine you can just pay by card. He charged our card $319 instead of $13 and uber not interested as they aaid the ride git cancelled. He cancelled it so he could rip us off as two British girls abroard.

  13. I had my items in the trunk of my uber, and when I was at my destination I walked out and waited behind the car for the driver to unlock the trunk. The driver decided to DRIVE AWAY! I was running after him, knocking his trunk, but he never stopped. When I lost sight of his car, I contacted him through the app (via “lost item” cause that’s the only way you can contact a driver after the trip has ended), to let him know he drove away with my items (which he helped me load into his trunk btw), and he drove around back to my building to give me back my items. I did not forget the items at all! He drove away with it when I had the full intention of getting it out of his trunk, I don’t think any passenger would expect the driver to just drive away. But no wonder he came back with a smirk, because I was charged a lost item fee afterwards. Worst of all, uber reps are not on the side of passengers at all and it seems they’re condoning these dishonest actions by the drivers.

  14. As an Uber driver in London UK area, have been detected a serious issue related UBER APP and work, that require very serious attention and investigation for cyber an financial crime investigation agencies.
    Last few month in london area UBER on high demand area aply surge charge, that is visible on Uber drivers APP, but when Uber send the job to the drrivers this not included any surge charge, but aply it to riders account.
    This issue can desribe as an tehnical issue,but iss happend on regular base, that may be is financial fraud of high level.

  15. I was moving furniture when suddenly my phone rang from an UBER driver. He said he could not find a certain address, a place I had visited (not using an UBER driver) about a month ago. I never touched my phone. I was charged for a canceled trip I never ordered with no recourse. How can this happen? You have to pull up the UBER icon, click on it, put in an address, choose a certain level of UBER. I did nothing. Suddenly my phone rang with a driver telling me to cancel this ride which the UBER app would not let me do. Is this another scam?

  16. One other big scam that I am finding is a lot of drivers are putting in a wait time even though they did not wait for you. This has happned on many of my rides. I am done with Uber and going to give Lyft a shot.

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