This is one of those stories where it’s surprising that we haven’t heard something like this sooner: a man is posing as an Uber driver in Gainesville, Florida in order to lure women into his car. The UFPD is warning women who choose to ride with an Uber driver of the signs to watch out for so as to not end up in this imposter’s car.
The man was driving a gold or cream-colored Chevy Malibu and told women that he was an Uber driver. He also prominently displayed stickers with Uber’s logo on them on his car. UFPD police officers told CBS4 News that those passengers who did end up riding with this person must have been tipped off that he wasn’t an Uber driver, yet they’re not entirely sure how. These incidents were reported to the police department later on.
There is, of course, an Uber app, and students at the University of Florida say they rely on that app when choosing an Uber driver because it offers an ample amount of information about the person you are choosing to get into the car with. One student reported that she always looks for the Uber tag in the front window and makes sure that it matches the information from the description of the driver and his car as well as the license plate.
Thankfully, as of now no criminal behavior has been reported in connection with this incident, but police, of course, still want people to be aware that this is happening. In addition to the Uber app, students can also avail themselves of the Gator Safe app, which allows them to report on any suspicious activity by providing information about the incident and corresponding photographs.
Additionally, Uber’s website also provides safety information to interested passengers so that they can be made aware of what to keep an eye out for so that they don’t find themselves in uncomfortable or even potentially dangerous situations.
As is to be expected, this is not the first incident involving a fake Uber driver. In May of 2016, a man posing as an Uber driver in New York City robbed a passenger, while also threatening to shoot and rape her, after driving her from East Houston Street to the northeast edge of Manhattan.
In mid-August 2016 another incident took place, this time in Atlanta, Georgia. Here, a man initially believed to be an Uber driver was accused of raping a 20 year-old woman and pushing her out of his car. As it turns out, the man was not an Uber driver at all and was nothing more than another imposter. The woman was just trying to do the right thing, calling an Uber driver for a ride home after spending the night out with friends, and ended up being assaulted by this imposter.
In still another incident, a fake Uber driver tried to sexually assault a Twin Cities woman in Minneapolis in mid-August 2016 after she contacted the service for a ride home. The woman managed to fight off her attacker and escape to her house.
Be careful out there, folks.