Toronto UberEATS customers are warning people about a scam allegedly involving the popular food delivery app. According to several customers, the scam is being carried out by drivers who use the app’s cancellation option as a way to collect fees and steal food from unsuspecting customers.
The scammers reportedly trick customers by refusing to update the status of the order, which in turn, allows the drivers to avoid being detected on the app’s GPS, which typically allows customers to track their order in real time.
The driver then sends out a message informing the customer that they have arrived, then cancel the order, charge the customer for the food and make off with whatever items the customer had ordered.
"I get a message saying the driver cancelled the order, and I'm out 50 bucks. I immediately call Uber because I know I've been scammed. The Uber representative called the driver, literally a minute after he cancelled. and the driver tells her ‘sorry, the food is gone now,'" details one Toronto Redditor.
The Reddit post also featured a link to an online forum for Uber drivers, on which one unnamed driver reveals his scamming tactics. They boast about using their job at UberEATS to steal food from people as revenge for the companies allegedly poor pay rates.
“I use uber Eats to get free food I pick it up and never say I did when I go to the restaurant. This is revenge for my friend who drives, and Uber steals their money," wrote the unknown scammer.
According to Harry Campbell, a ride-sharing expert and creator of The Rideshare Guy podcast, cancellation scams are indeed a problem for the company. Scammers sometimes even go to great lengths to ensure that the customer is the one who cancels so they can avoid being blamed for the transaction.
“If you think this is happening, just send a note to Uber through the help tab of the passenger app. You can always request a refund of your cancellation fee from the trip tab on the menu and explain what happened,” explained Campbell in an interview with Readers Digest.
Uber addressed the issue after being contacted by Takeout.com, who reached out to the company after a similar scam cost a Florida woman 60 dollars:
“Though there are instances where the driver partner encounters situations where no one is there to retrieve the order, we do take a number of steps to monitor and prevent any kind of theft or fraud on the app with both delivery partners and customers,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
Although the vast majority of Uber drivers are honest people who do not scam their customers, it is nevertheless important to report any occurrences where you feel you were unfairly treated to help prevent future incidents of theft.