PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Riders are warning other Uber riders about an alleged scam some drivers are pulling. Eyewitness News talked with one woman who says she was scammed by a driver and was charged for a mess she didn’t make.
Alison Kahan has a warning to riders who use Uber after she says she was conned following a ride in Florida on Dec. 27.
“Take pictures before you enter the vehicle,” she said.
Kahan says the ride originally cost her $16. But the next day, she says Uber hit her with an extra $20 fee.
“I was taken back, like what did I do?” Kahan said.
According to an email from Uber, it was a cleaning fee for a mess Kahan says she did not make. Photos depicting an apparent stain were attached to the email.
“This is a scam. The vehicle I rode in had leather seats, the pictures that were submitted had cloth,” she recalls.
Kahan says Uber initially declined her request for a refund, but she finally got her money back on Friday.
According to the Better Business Burea, Kahan is just the latest victim in what’s been dubbed “vomit fraud.”
It’s a growing trend where a driver falsely claims an incident requiring cleanup and imposes fees.
Uber says it refunded Kahan and released a statement.
“We are constantly evaluating our processes and technology related to these claims and will take appropriate action whenever fraud may be detected,” Uber said.
Consumer lawyer Louis Schwartz has some advice.
“If you use a credit card you can challenge the charge with credit card company,” he said.
“Lesson learned. I definitely have to take steps to protect myself,” Kahan said.
If you feel like you have been a victim of vomit fraud, Uber asks you to reach out.