One of the few non-comically terrible things about Uber is that the booking system removes a lot of the anxiety that goes with asking some rando to drive you across town. This especially applies to the fare, which is agreed upon in advance, so you don't have to worry about your driver taking you to CVS via the scenic route and demanding the GDP of a small island nation in return (plus tip).
Or at least, this used to be the way. Then vomit fraud came along.
Vomit fraud -- or as we like to call it, "lie heaving" -- is a scam wherein drivers charge passengers an additional cleaning fee of anywhere between $80-150, even if the passenger hasn't made a mess -- all without the passenger's knowledge. Why is it called "vomit fraud," you might ask? Well, it's because that's the mess these scammers are charging to "clean up." All they need to do is send a picture of a vomit-covered car to Uber, and unless the mark checks the ride receipt and cries foul, they get to pocket the cash.
When The Miami Herald dug into this phenomenon, they found cases across Miami, and other news reports have also found it in Tampa, New York, Los Angeles, and Australia. We don't want to sound like we're supporting these scammers, but you've got to give them credit for sticking to cities with hard-drinking populations. That definitely helps sell the story that someone turned their backseat into a nightclub bathroom stall.
As you'd expect, Uber can't do squat to stop their drivers from ripping you off, meaning that it's 100 percent on passengers to stop drivers from stealing from them. You know, like how CVS asks you to body-slam sales associates who give you incorrect change.
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