New concerns are being raised after a woman in Columbia, South Carolina, was found dead over the weekend after she may have accidentally gotten into a car she thought was her Uber.
The man whose car Samantha Josephson, 21, entered was later arrested and will be charged with kidnapping and murder.
This isn't the first such incident. In 2017, a woman named Carla Westlund was sexually assaulted by a man posing as an Uber driver.
To show just how easy it is for Uber imposters to target you, TODAY parked outside popular bars and restaurants in the Los Angeles area late at night last year in a car with a fake Uber logo. Cameras in the car captured the revealing results.
How can you avoid becoming a victim of an Uber imposter? Follow these important tips:
- Before you get into the car, use the Uber app to check the license plate. Make sure it matches the actual car.
- Check to make sure the person behind the wheel looks like your driver's photo in the app.
- Don't give away your name. Instead, ask the driver who they are picking up.
- If you're traveling alone, Uber encourages you to ride in the back seat instead of the front. That way, in an emergency, you can exit on either side of the car. Uber says this also gives both you and your driver more personal space.
- Uber also suggests that you share trip details with a friend. You can do this easily by tapping the Share Status option on the Uber home screen once your fare has begun.