Uber and Uber Eats Scams: How to Protect Yourself

Last Updated on May 7, 2024

Rideshare and delivery services like Uber and Uber Eats are constantly moving into more cities and gaining more drivers.

More than 131 million people used Uber or Uber Eats in 2022, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, Uber drivers made 7.6 billion trips in 2022.

With such huge numbers involved, it’s probably no surprise that hackers and scammers target Uber drivers

In minor cases, such scams can leave drivers with an annoying fake delivery order. Yet, in significant cases, the drivers could suffer from identity theft or lose a significant amount of money.

If you want to start driving for Uber or if you want to use Uber, it’s worth looking at the potential ways that scammers may target you. It’s then possible to take some proactive steps to protect your information.

💯 Act Now: Uber and Uber Eats Scams can be dangerous to your credit and personal privacy. Use Aura to protect your identity and get alerts and insurance should you become a victim.

Why Scammers Target Uber and Uber Eats Drivers

Why Scammers Target Uber and Uber Eats Drivers

The growing popularity of ridesharing and delivery services is one reason scammers target gig economy workers. Yet that’s not the only reason.

Scammers know that because many Uber Eats drivers work part-time side hustles, they may not track their finances closely. This potentially allows the scammer to steal money without the driver even realizing it.

Scammers also know that people working a side hustle may be more likely to just give up on one side hustle job after losing money to a scam and moving on to another. It’s easier to write off any money that is lost and start working another gig rather than spending time trying to track down the money the driver should have.

Additionally, because Uber and Uber Eats operate from a digital app, it’s easier for scammers to target people using it. It’s more difficult to target someone face-to-face.

Digital-oriented scams Occur Frequently

Scammers have significant practice trying to trick people through digital means. 

Things like travel booking scams and rental property scams have been around for years, and scammers can use some of those same techniques to try to take advantage of Uber drivers.

Scammers don’t necessarily target Uber Eats and Uber drivers exclusively. They also may target Lyft drivers and others with similar side hustles.

Remember, scammers can send hundreds of fake messages instantly, and they only need one victim to operate a successful scam, making the messages worth it. Whether it’s an Uber driver or a Lyft driver doesn’t matter to the scammers – they just want the payout at the end.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to understand some of the most common Uber scams. You then can keep an eye out for them proactively.

Common Scams Against Uber Drivers

If a scammer targets you as an Uber driver, the scammer may be trying to steal your money. The scammer may also try to fool you into giving up some of your personal information, potentially leading to a theft of your identity. 

Here are some common scams to watch out for that target Uber drivers.

Offering You a Bonus

The scammer may schedule a rideshare. The scammer then might call the assigned driver through the app, pretending to be from the tech support team at Uber.

The scammer may claim that the driver qualifies for a bonus payment. The tech support rep claims only to need access to the driver’s Uber account to provide the money.

Excited about the extra money, the driver may give up the account information without thinking about it.

Once the scammer has your information, you may lose access to your account balance.

It’s also possible that the scammer could just direct some of the money that goes into your Uber account into the scammer’s account. Unless you keep tight financial records, you may not notice the loss of some of your earnings. This skimming of your earnings could go on indefinitely. 

In other scams like this, the fake tech support person may ask the driver to verify other types of personal information, like a Social Security number. This scam has been around for several years with all kinds of people, not just Uber drivers.

Take the time to think about the type of information a potential scammer is requesting. If it seems odd, it probably is.

The Identification Scam

When someone requests a ride from you as a driver, Uber requires the passenger to verify the driver’s identity. This ensures that the correct person who ordered the ride climbs into the correct car.

Some riders turn this around, trying to steal a free ride

When preparing to leave a restaurant or nightclub, the scammer may wait around, looking for an Uber driver pulling up to meet a rider. The scammer may climb into the waiting car, quickly asking the driver to verify the rider’s name. (This is backward from how the system is supposed to work, as the rider is supposed to state his or her name.)

If the driver says the name of the person who ordered the ride, the scammer lies and tells the driver that this is the correct name. 

When the driver then tries to take the scammer to the destination entered into the app, the scammer asks if they can go to a different destination because plans changed. 

Ultimately, the scammer steals a free ride the driver loses their fee.

The Package Scam

Because some Uber drivers deliver packages alongside providing rides, scammers may take advantage of the anonymity of the service. It’s not all that different from some UPS or USPS scams.

The scammer may hire an Uber driver to move packages from one location to another. However, the package may contain stolen or illegal items, leaving the Uber driver taking on the risk, even if the driver doesn’t know what’s in the package.

As the driver, you probably won’t end up in any legal trouble over the package, should law enforcement find it, as police understand that you were simply driving. It can still be a major headache, though.

However, if you, as a driver, believe that the package you are transporting is dangerous or illegal, Uber suggests that you should take the package to local law enforcement.

Common Scams Against Uber Eats Drivers

Common Scams Against Uber Eats Drivers

Scammers may target Uber Eats drivers in a few different ways. Some of these scams may try to harm your reputation in the app, may try to steal your money, or may try to gain access to your driver account.

💯 Act Now: Uber and Uber Eats scams against drivers can lead to identity theft. Protect yourself against the worst consequences of identity theft by signing up for Aura today.

Posing as Tech Support Personnel

The scammer may make a small order on Uber Eats to gain access to the driver’s name and contact information.

The scammer then may call the Uber Eats driver through the app and pretend to be from the tech support team. The hacker then can try to steal personal information or hack into the driver’s account.

The scammer may tell the driver that there’s something wrong with the order, asking for the driver’s login information to fix the issue.

If you give the fake tech support person this information, the hacker can access your account and change your payment information. The hacker may even be able to steal your existing Uber Eats account balance.

The Scammer Claims to not Receive the Food Order

This isn’t as much of a scam as an outright lie, but you may need to protect yourself from it. 

After the driver delivers the order, the customer tells Uber Eats that the food never arrived. The company’s policy is that the customer receives free food.

However, this type of complaint can lead to a reduction in your driver score. Uber Eats could even terminate the driver over this type of complaint if it happens regularly.

To avoid becoming the victim of this type of lie as an Uber Eats driver, you should document the order as you deliver it. Take a photo of you leaving the food. You also could wear a body cam (it doesn’t need to be expensive) that records you delivering the food.

Changing the Address of Delivery

Some scammers may enter a fake address to trick Uber Eats into allowing an order from a restaurant outside the customer’s range. 

When the driver picks up the order, the customer reaches out and asks the driver to take the order to another address, much farther away.

Uber Eats does not require drivers to deliver food after the customer changes the address. After all, Uber Eats only pays you for the mileage that’s in the original address. 

Even if the customer tries to entice you to make the delivery by offering a large tip, you don’t have to deliver the order to this new address. There is no guarantee that you will receive that tip, either.

Customer Picks up the Food from the Restaurant

The customer makes a restaurant order and requests that an Uber Eats driver pick it up and deliver it.

Before you can reach the restaurant, though, the customer goes to the restaurant, posing as a driver, and picks up the food. When you arrive as the Uber Eats driver, the restaurant tells you another driver already picked up the food.

This means you no longer receive your payment. The customer may contact Uber Eats and claim that the food never arrived, requesting a refund. 

There isn’t much you can do as an Uber Eats driver to protect yourself from this problem. The restaurant is responsible for verifying the identity of the person who picks up the food.

Unfortunately, this type of scam costs Uber Eats drivers time and gas money through no fault of their own.

Ways to Protect Yourself When Driving for Uber or Uber Eats

Here are a few ways to protect your personal information when driving for Uber Eats or Uber.

Two-factor authentication: Set up 2FA on your account, so a scammer cannot access your account just by stealing your password. If someone posing as an Uber tech support person tries to convince you to give up your 2FA code, this is a scam. Don’t give up the information.
Follow Uber’s rules: Do not deviate from the rules that Uber and Uber Eats set up for you to accept assignments and to identify riders and orders. These rules are in place to protect you from potential scams.
Don’t give up account information: The Uber tech support team will not ask you for your account password or other sensitive personal information through the app.

Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself is to take the time to think about what is happening before you act or reveal personal information. If something feels off, trust your gut

Tell the person who is calling you that you will call Uber yourself to verify any requests you receive that seem strange. 

Scammers often Threaten You

If you don’t give up the information right away, a scammer will probably begin threatening you. The scammer may say you will lose out on whatever opportunity the scammer is pretending to offer you. 

Scammers often threaten the gig worker with de-platforming or deactivation if they don’t provide the information. The fear of losing a job can be scary for the driver, so the driver simply agrees to provide whatever information is requested to make the issue disappear.

Drivers also do not want to receive negative reviews that may leave them unable to receive as many assignments in the future. Again, this fear might make the driver ignore warning signs and share information quickly without considering the consequences.

Don’t let the scammer rush you or bully you into making a poor decision, though.

Potential Scams Against Uber Customers

Although most people who drive for Uber Eats or Uber are honest and are simply trying to earn a little extra money, some drivers are out to scam customers. Here are some of the most common scams you should guard against as a customer who is using Uber.

Ghosting the Customer

After an Uber driver accepts your request for a ride, the driver (a scammer) may mark the ride as started and completed without ever picking you up.

The scammer then receives payment for the ride, and you receive an unfair charge for the ride.

You can’t control when an Uber driver tries to pull off this scam, but you can make a report to Uber customer service. This should ensure that you receive a refund and that the driver who tried this scam is put on notice or removed from the platform.

The driver trying to scam you in this manner hopes you will not report the scam to Uber customer service. If you don’t report it and demand a refund, the driver can continue running the scam.

Fake Coupons

After you use Uber, you might receive an offer for a discount from Uber or Uber Eats. All you have to do to redeem the offer is click on a link in the email or text.

Once you click the link, you may end up at a fake website where you’re asked to submit personal information. Some of this information could allow the scammer to attempt to steal your personal identity.

The fake link also could cause you to download malware or viruses that let the scammer take control of your device. 

This type of scam is very similar to a phishing scam. The best way to protect yourself is never to click random links that arrive in email or text.

Fake Drivers

Some scammers may hang around in their cars at night, where people often seek rideshares. These drivers are trying to pose as Uber drivers, hoping to trick people looking for rides into just jumping into the car.

Such drivers may admit they aren’t Uber drivers once they drive away, but they offer to take you somewhere for a discounted cash price. Once you agree to pay – which tells the driver you have cash – the driver may rob you.

In extreme situations, the driver could kidnap or extort you for additional money.

To stay as safe as possible when using Uber rideshares, verifying that the driver is with Uber is important. Verify that the driver is the one who is supposed to pick you up before getting into the vehicle, too.

Importance of Protecting Yourself From Uber Eats and Uber Scams

Importance of Protecting Yourself From Uber Eats and Uber Scams

Unfortunately, scammers don’t have a lot of sympathy for their victims. You may want to offer ridesharing through Uber or deliver food through Uber Eats to help you pick up a little extra money with a side hustle.

Yet having to deal with scammers trying to steal your money or attempting to cause problems for you might make it seem like it’s not worth it.

Taking a few steps to protect yourself gives you the best chance to avoid significant issues related to Uber scams.

If you have concerns about someone trying to steal your identity through an Uber scam, subscribe to one of the best identity theft protection services, such as Aura. These services watch how your personal information appears on the Internet, alerting you to any oddities.

💯 Act Now: Signing up for Aura is easy and can save you dozens of hours and thousands of dollars in identity theft costs. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial and 68% off.

Considering you can find Uber driver accounts on the dark web for $35, protecting your information is vital. The loss of your Uber account information is more common than you think.

Best of all, the ID theft protection service watches your personal information while you are driving for Uber and when you return to your regular life. After all, scammers don’t stop targeting you just because you’re not actively behind the wheel of your car working a side hustle.

Related: 8 Common DoorDash Scams (and How To Prevent Them).