As if riding in an Uber at midnight wasn’t sketchy enough.
Of course not. It’s scary enough getting into the car of a stranger who’s had only a limited background check. Now imagine if this guy was supposed to drive you home.
According to local Chinese media, there’s been a rise of so-called “ghost drivers” in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen, among others. These drivers are using creepy profile photos to spook riders into canceling their trips. The riders are then charged a small fine, which is somewhere between 8 and 15 yuan ($1-$2 U.S.), which gets routed to the driver.
Riders can request reimbursement from Uber, but given the small stakes, most probably won’t go through the process of filing a complaint.
It’s a nifty scam, but it might not last long. An Uber spokesperson told Quartz, “We have taken immediate actions and banned these reported individual fraud accounts while continuing to investigate and crack down on any fraudulent behavior to protect rider and driver interests.”
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