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The Most Common Uber Eats Scams For Users & Drivers

Worried about falling prey to Uber Eats scams? We offer a comprehensive insight into different types of frauds and practical ways to avoid them.

Key Takeaways

  • Scammers target both Uber Eats customers and drivers, causing financial and data loss.
  • Common customer scams include phishing, fake charges, imposter support, and account takeovers.
  • Drivers face bait-and-switch, address changing, delivery denials, and fake support scams.
  • Avoid scams by not sharing personal info, documenting interactions, and reporting suspicious activities.

Uber Eats is one of the most popular food delivery apps in the US, with 88 million users and a market share of 23% as of the start of 2024.

Although Uber Eats offers a competitive level of convenience and order delivery speed, its wide user base makes scams on the app an unfortunate and likely reality.

Whether you’re a customer or a driver, constantly familiarizing yourself with common Uber Eats scams is a crucial safety measure. It helps you spot suspicious activity surrounding the service so you can better protect your money and information.

Our comprehensive guide offers a detailed explanation of common hoaxes you might encounter as an Uber Eats driver or customer. We’re also addressing the different ways to avoid those scams and the steps you should take if you do face a scammer.

Overview of Uber Eats Scams

When reports say that Uber is generally safe, most of the time they’re referring to the security of the drive share app for riders. While Uber driver/rider fraud is a hot topic of discussion, few articles talk about scams in Uber’s food delivery service.

However, Uber Eats scams are also a real problem and happen as often (if not more). Both customers and drivers can be victims of hoaxes on this platform.

Examples of typical scams that target customers include phishing emails/messages, account takeovers, imposter customer service, and fake promotions.

As for drivers, common scams include customers denying food delivery, changing addresses, and fake driver support.

These scams can cause financial loss to its victims. You may be a customer who paid for an order that never arrived or whose account was hacked and drained.

You may be a driver who ended up driving farther than the set delivery zone (gas money wasted). Or, you may be a driver who didn’t get a payout because a customer picked up the food instead.

Beyond costing victims an order’s price or a payout, the financial loss can be devastating if your sensitive information is compromised. This can get your bank account(s)/card(s) hacked.

Scams are the epitome of negative experiences on a platform that could ruin a victim’s day or even cost them their life’s savings. For Uber Eats, scams mean fewer customers buying and fewer riders working, lowering its market share at the very least.

Common Scams Targeting Customers

If you’re an Uber Eats customer, the following are common customer-focused scams you should watch out for:

Phishing Emails and Messages

Although it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, it works so often because people always want a discount.

In this type of scam, a customer may receive an email, a text, or a message on a social media platform. It’ll tell you -in various phrasings- that you have a chance to use a lucrative promo code if you click on the provided link.

This is a major red flag if the email/text comes from an unknown or spammy contact . It’s unsafe to click such links even if someone you know sends them as they may have been already hacked and the culprit is using their email/number/account.

This is similar to an Uber code text scam, so you should delete the message once you recognize it’s malicious.

Fake Delivery Charges

Another common type of scam involves fake delivery charges, and frauds use a few different ways to trick customers into paying them.

For example, if you choose the cash-on-delivery payment option, you may receive a message with a link attached .

The text will encourage you to pay online via the link for a tempting discounted price. Once you enter your card information, the scammer will hack it.

A driver may also try to scam you into paying fake delivery charges. They’ll deliver your order and then tell you that your app miscalculated the delivery fees when they’re actually higher.

They may show you a fake screenshot on their phone with the higher fee, so you pay and brush it off as a technical error. The extra money may not seem like much, but it adds up when many victims fall for the scam.

There’s also an emerging scam related to canceling orders where a driver or a poser driver contacts a customer. They ask the customer to send them money to cover the cancellation fee.

They may further elaborate that this is a “new” policy or tell you they were wrongly charged a fee when you canceled.

Remember, you’ll only be charged for cancellation if you cancel the order after the driver picks it up. This fee is always in-app and no customer service agent will ever contact you for payment.

Customer Service Imposter

The “fake customer support agent” trick has been popular among scammers for years and is still going strong.

That’s because scammers have gotten better at imitating customer service communication techniques.

Customers are also less skeptical when the scammer sounds professional and provides information such as the customer’s name and address.

However, such information is simple to find for most hackers. Once they establish trust, they’ll make up a reason to get you to tell them personal information like your password or card details.

They may tell you they’re updating your information or trying to waive a cancellation fee so they want to “confirm” your information.

Account Takeovers

A scammer can take over your Uber Eats account by stealing your login information.

They can do that using several tricks.

They may pose as a customer support agent and ask you to reveal your password or share an OTP code that you received.

The latter is usually sent to you as a result of a failed trial to log into your account. You may also get an Uber Eats code if there’s an attempt to change the password.

They may send you a malicious link in an email or text for a promo code that directs you to “log in”. That link can also be a virus that makes your data vulnerable to breach.

Once the scammer has access to your account, they can place orders for themselves using your money. If you have an Uber One subscription, an Uber Eats account takeover could compromise your Uber rideshare account as well.

The scammer will also be able to access your Uber Cash, and you may find yourself getting charged for rides you didn’t take.

Common Scams Targeting Drivers

If you drive for Uber Eats, the following are common driver-focused scams that you should be aware of:

Bait-and-Switch

A bait-and-switch scam is when a customer tricks a driver by providing seemingly legitimate information or incentives to get the driver to do extra work. However, the customer changes the information/incentive once the driver accepts the order.

This occurs in two main ways:

Tip Baiting

This type of scan went viral during the summer of 2023 after an Uber Eats driver posted a video showing himself eating a customer’s order after they tip-baited him the day before.

A tip-baiting scam is when a customer uses an app to place an order and sets an initial sizable tip to encourage faster delivery of their food. But after the driver delivers the order, the customer cuts the tip or takes it away altogether.

We should note that no customer is under obligation to tip on Uber Eats . However, it’s basic decency not to remove a tip once a driver accepts the order.

We should also point out that this issue happens with Uber Eats only, not with Grubhub or DoorDash. That’s because the former is the only app that allows customers to alter tips after order completion.

While drivers can’t do much to avoid tip-baiting, most orders do pay as much as they state.

The best approach here is to grab high-paying opportunities whenever they arise. They’re far more likely to turn out legit than a scam.

Switching Addresses

This scam starts with a customer placing an order as normal. The address they provide for delivery matches the restaurant’s delivery range, so everything is good for the driver to accept the job.

However, after a while, the customer contacts the driver and tells them that they accidentally put in the wrong address.

The customer then asks the driver to deliver the order to the “right” address . That address is usually farther or even out of the restaurant’s delivery range. Some customers will even promise an extra tip.

This may be an honest mistake on the customer’s end and they may come through with that tip. But scammers take advantage of the tip-induced enticement and take it back after delivery.

As a result, the driver will have covered more distance than Uber will pay them. As for the customer, they’ll only pay for the distance they put on the all.

Not only does this waste the driver’s time but also keeps them from taking orders that would have paid better.

As a driver, your sole obligation is to deliver to the address provided on the app. Whether you cancel the order or deliver it is something you can communicate with Uber Eats support.

Customers Denying Delivery

Customers who try to take advantage of Uber’s refund policy for unfulfilled deliveries often resort to this scam. They contact customer service and claim that they didn’t receive their food , which grants them a free meal.

This is where documentation (especially for “leave at door” orders) can save drivers from penalties or termination.

Fake Driver Support

In this scam, a customer will pose as a driver support agent to obtain the driver’s account information.

Then, once the scammer gains access, they’ll change banking information to cash out the driver’s balance to their bank account.

How to Avoid Scams on Uber Eats

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re an Uber Eats driver or customer:

  • You should never reply to a suspicious email/text/message. Getting a response can be part of the scheme to rip you off.
  • Be aware that Uber customer service will never call you to inquire about login or banking information.
  • Never click on links sent to you from unknown contacts.
  • Never reply to messages containing suspicious links.
  • Never share your login information or banking details with anyone who claims to be an Uber Eats support representative.
  • Document any interactions with drivers or customers to ensure there’s proof of claims you make later on.

What to Do If You Encounter a Scam

If you suspect that you’re a target of an Uber Eats scam, here’s what you should do:

  • Change your app account’s password immediately.
  • Change your bank account’s password as soon as possible.
  • Report the incident to Uber Eats support and follow their suggested security measures.
  • Contact your bank and ensure there’s no suspicious activity on your account. Then, inquire about further security measures they can provide.

Staying Informed and Updated

Your most valued tool to fight scams is staying informed about the latest schemes. Whether you’re a rider or a customer, being up-to-date helps you recognize the signs of fraud so you can avoid them from the start.

To stay in the loop, customers can join customer forums while drivers can check driver forums for relevant insights. Both can benefit from following official Uber communication platforms , such as their Instagram or X account.

Conclusion

To recognize the red flags of Uber Eats scams and avoid falling victim to one of them, you need to do your homework. Learning about how those schemes work and how scammers execute them gives you the necessary tools to protect yourself.

Ensuring a safer experience on this platform is the responsibility of not only the company but also the users. As such, you must be proactive in sharing your encounters and reporting any suspicious activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few common questions regarding Uber Eats scams that you may be wondering:

Will Uber Eats Ever Call You?

Uber Eats support will never call you to request your password, banking information, or verification code. However, they may call on rare occasions such as a suspiciously large order.

What is Uber Charging Me $9.99 Per Month?

This is most likely the fee for an Uber One subscription.

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