Home Ground Transportation (Bus, Lyft, Subway, Taxi, Train, Uber, etc.) Oh Great, Uber Drivers Have Another Way To Scam Passengers (But You May Be Able To Get This One Refunded)

Oh Great, Uber Drivers Have Another Way To Scam Passengers (But You May Be Able To Get This One Refunded)

by SharonKurheg

Every time I experience or hear about another scam that some UBER drivers participate in, I think I’ve heard it all. So far there’s been:

And these are all things we’ve experienced or others, who also follow the seven rules of being a good Uber/Lyft passenger, have.

But nope, I haven’t heard it all yet, because I just heard of yet another scam invented by ride sharing drivers…

Some friends had been in China and they wrote this incident that happened as they got home:

…had an odd experience last night with an Uber driver. We got into Orlando airport @2am this morning after our China trip and called Uber. A driver responded, pulled up, and then said he was too tired to drive us home, so we should cancel him and get someone else. Why would he respond and then turn us down?

The first, rather innocent thought would be, “Aw, how nice! He’s thinks he’s too tired to drive so he was smart and instead of risking getting into an accident, he asked you to cancel and call for another driver. How responsible of him!,” right?


Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 2.02.19 PM

It turns out that if a driver cancels, nothing really happens. But if a customer cancels, the driver gets paid $5 (and the customer gets dinged, as well – the amount depends on what size/type of ride you requested, but it usually varies between $5 and $10).

Another friend of these friends actually is an Uber driver. She says it’s a scam – the driver just gets someone, ask them to cancel, and does it over and over. In the course of an hour he could make around $40 if he does it to about 10 people at the airport.

Fortunately, unlike some of the other scams we mentioned above, Uber seems to be onto this one and may be willing to waive the fee if the passenger is not at fault. Click here to see how to do it – note that the last option under “Select an issue/I was incorrectly charged a cancellation fee/Tell us more” is “My driver asked me to cancel.” Of course, it doesn’t guarantee a refund for your fee if you submit a claim, but it’s certainly worth a try, right?

*** Thanks to Cookie W. (as well as Julie and Sarah) for their assistance in writing this post

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just two or three times a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary



Gene June 27, 2019 - 6:36 pm

That better guarantee a refund. These drivers should be fired.

Shay Peleg June 27, 2019 - 6:38 pm

This happened to me in russia. I just didn’t cancel the ride left his app stuck.

SharonKurheg June 27, 2019 - 11:16 pm

Brilliant! 😉

Christian June 27, 2019 - 7:13 pm

My “favorite” Uber scam was when my wife and I were at Universal Orlando a few years ago. We thought we might be drinking, so avoided driving. I summoned an Uber in the proper area and after a fair bit of time got accepted by a driver who was a couple of minutes away. After a lot more than a couple of minutes of seeing the driver circle us repeatedly (on the screen, not in person), I was dropped for no apparent reason and charged $5 for cancelling the ride. So I tried again. Same driver, same story. Identical a third time. The fourth, we got an honest driver who showed up. I still use Uber, but I’m a lot more leery now.

SharonKurheg June 27, 2019 - 11:18 pm

Ugh. Were you able to get a refund on the three $5 charges?

Christian June 27, 2019 - 11:51 pm

Yes. Apparently there’s an option in the app. I care less about the fifteen bucks than rewarding a scammer, so i was pretty determined.

SharonKurheg June 27, 2019 - 11:57 pm

I know about that option – it was included in the article 😉

And I’m right there with you with not rewarding a scammer LOL

MikeL June 27, 2019 - 8:24 pm

They are getting just as sleazy as the NYC yellow cab drivers pre-Uber… In San Antonio, I’ve been charged the waiting fee multiple times when getting picked up at my home… when I’m already outside waiting on the driver when they get there… crazy.

Jose June 27, 2019 - 11:11 pm

I’m a driver and I don’t think is possible for a driver to get 10 cancelations in 1 hour, at an airport at any given time, principally at 2 am. That’s one cancelation every 6 minutes, that time includes waiting for a request, driving or not to the passenger, convincing them to cancel, return to the queue and repeat. It’s more likely the driver is waiting for a surge in price, or a better ride. 2am, Orlando airport, I’ll bet on surge in price.

Steve June 29, 2019 - 12:38 pm

Uber drivers are garbage humans

SharonKurheg June 29, 2019 - 12:50 pm

LOLOL – you’re so funny!

There are people in the world who are human garbage and they are in every occupation out there. True, some of them are Uber drivers – hence the scammers that people need to watch out for. Other pieces of human garbage are in other occupations. What do you do for a living?

Gary Lefferton June 29, 2019 - 2:54 pm

The drivers don’t know the destination of the trip in advance.

It could be possible that the driver was indeed too tired to make that trip.

SharonKurheg June 29, 2019 - 5:20 pm

You’re right, it’s possible. However another friend of the person who told me her story was an Uber driver who gave us the heads up that it’s a well-known scam. Plus if he was that tired, he could have cancelled the ride. But he didn’t – he asked my friend to cancel. That meant he got $5-$10 from Uber (and my friend got a penalty charge). Had he cancelled, he would have gotten nothing (and my friend wouldn’t have been charged).

We’ll never know but the bottom line is, if a driver has accepted a ride and then changes his/her mind for whatever reason, it’s up to him/her to cancel, not the passenger.


Leave a Comment