Article Lead Image

Photo via Su--May/Flickr

Uber’s freaky ‘ghost drivers’ are scaring people out of their rides

As if riding in an Uber at midnight wasn't sketchy enough.


Austin Powell


Posted on Sep 24, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 10:41 pm CDT

Would you get into an Uber if your driver looked like a zombie

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. 

Screengrab via Weibo

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.   

Image via Weibo

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.”  

H/T Quartz

Share this article
*First Published: Sep 24, 2016, 11:00 am CDT