'Ghost Driver' Scam is Freaking Out Chinese Uber Users

By William Lee, October 14, 2016

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In what appears to be a widespread scam, some Chinese Uber drivers have been distorting their profile pictures on the ride-hailing app — and the results are terrifying. 

According to the Daily Mail, users of the service looking for a ride home have opened the app recently to find drivers’ profiles with such grotesque and nightmarish features that they've been too scared to get in the car with them. When they cancel their journey, the drivers have reportedly received a small cancellation fee of a few yuan. 


This is likely the unintended consequence of a larger scam. These so called ‘Ghost Drivers’ have been accepting ride requests, falsely claiming that passengers have gotten in the car for a short ride and then canceled the trip. The cost to the individual user is a nominal amount (RMB8-15), to the extent that a lot of users don't bother to complain, but when taken together this scheme turns a tidy profit for the swindling spectres. 

Uber introduced facial recognition technology into its Chinese operation in an attempt to crackdown on scams like this, and it is speculated that the changes made to drivers' faces have been done in an attempt to cheat this security measure. 

Uber China has been offering reimbursements to users affected by the scam as well as blocking the offending accounts. So if you've been the victim of ghost drivers, "who you gonna call..?" Uber. Obviously. 

[Images via Daily Mail]

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