How to Protect Yourself from Tragic Uber Ride Mistake

Our daughter uses Uber frequently, and this story scares me to death.

A University of South Carolina student was killed after she got into the wrong car.

Samantha Josephson was found dead on Friday afternoon. Police say she was abducted when she got into a car by mistake, believing it was an Uber she had ordered. Twenty-four year old Nathaniel Rowland, who is not an Uber driver, is charged in her killing.

Uber issued a statement in response to the killing-- "Everyone at Uber is devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime, and our hearts are with Samantha Josephson's family and loved ones. We remain focused on raising public awareness about this incredibly important issue."

Uber officials say that since 2017, they have been working with local law enforcement and college campuses across the country to educate the public on how to avoid fake ride share drivers.

Uber has a lot of safety tips, but there's one in the YouTube video below that I really think is important--

When you open the door, ask them WHO they're there for. If they don't know your name, don't get in!

Uber Safety Tips:

  1. Plan ahead. Before you request a ride, think about where you’re headed and review the safety features in the app so you know how to use them.
  2. Request your ride inside.Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand. Instead, wait indoors until the app shows your driver has arrived.
  3. Get in the right car.Before you get in the car, check that license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.
  4. Be a backseat rider.If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space.
  5. Buckle up.The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.
  6. Share your trip details with a friend.While en route, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the Uber app.
  7. Protect your personal information.There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the Uber app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.
  8. Follow your intuition.Trust your instincts and use your best judgement when riding with Uber. And if you ever feel you’re in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.
  9. Be kind and respectful.As outlined in our community guidelines, please respect your driver and his or her car.
  10. Give feedback on your trip.Your feedback helps us improve the Uber experience for everyone. Our 24/7 global support team reviews feedback and will follow up with appropriate action on any reports of conduct that violate our community guidelines.



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