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Best Laid Plans

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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Holidays are right around the corner, and who doesn’t need a little extra cash. Which is why Teresa Dotson decided to sign up as an Uber driver. But best laid plans often go astray and when Dotson went to register, her account was immediately locked. Dotson had a driver’s license, valid email, phone number for confirmation and a great driving record. What was the problem? The problem was that here were already Uber driver accounts set up in her name. Accounts. As in plural. Turns out, Dotson was already a driver in California and Georgia. Each driver account listed Teresa’s personal information.

How about some screening Uber? Uber uses a company called Checkr to perform its background checks. Both were sued in a South Florida federal court. The case claimed Uber was negligent in allowing a driver to use someone’s stolen identity and it added that both companies broke the law by not notifying the victim when doing a background check. However, the case was then thrown out because the theft couldn’t be traced back to Uber or Checkr. Guess it’s up to the victim to fix it.

Eva Velasquez is the CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. She says this type of identity theft is usually the result of stolen driver’s license information being misused. And apparently it is easy. There are videos on Youtube, showing fraudsters proudly claiming, ‘Stole all this mail, here are the drivers licenses for sale”. Unbeknownst to the victim. Until they themselves need to use.

As Dotson says, “It’s scary because someone is using my information.” Yes, it is. For example, thieves can use those stolen details to assume a person’s identity and pass background checks for Uber. But there is so much more opportunity for the fraudster. Scammers can use stolen driver’s license information, pretend to be you and commit the following crimes: driver’s license fraud, criminal activity, medical identity theft, mail fraud, credit card theft, making fake IDs, and illegally collecting unemployment benefits. Hopefully, the damage to Dotson is only an Uber license rejection.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “South Florida woman discovers identity is stolen, used multiple times for people to open fraudulent rideshare driver accounts” published by 7News Miami on November 21, 2023

Rideshare apps like Uber are used all the time, and many drivers are getting behind the wheel to help pay their bills. But when one South Florida woman tried to sign up, she got a startling surprise.

The holiday season is right around the corner. It has people like Teresa Dotson looking for ways to make some extra money. “Because at my job, I’m a server and I was like, ‘You know, let me make some extra cash.’” Last month, she signed up to be a driver on Uber.com.

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