Beware Of Vomit Fraud When You Use Ridesharing Service
Many people across the country take a ride with UBER and LYFT and then get taken. The scam is usually done to people who are drunk or tired so that there is no fuss because they don't remember the evening ride.
They get their bill, might be $15-30, then there is a damage receipt for $150. Most of the time the people pay it thinking, wow, I was drunk I'm so embarrassed. When some people give it a closer look they see the fee. When they confront UBER or LYFT, the company says, it's a mess fee for cleaning up vomit, blood, food, or other bodily fluids and they have pictures to back it up.
Sure enough, pictures are sent of vomit or a mess in the car and most people pay the bill without question.
The Duluth News Tribune reported a family in North Dakota that discovered the police treat the fraud as a civil matter instead of a criminal one because of the way the ride services write user agreements, so they don't investigate. The family learned Lyft doesn't appear overly concerned its drivers are committing fraud. They also don't believe drivers who get caught face any repercussions.
How did they catch the driver? He went to a gas station and took pictures before he went in a car wash, the customer recognized the station, had them pull the tape, and then they saw the driver buy food and spread it over the seat and car, take pictures, and wash it off.
One way to protect yourself is to take pictures of the way you leave the vehicle when you get out.