Uber Eats scams are a headache many Uber Eats drivers will have to deal with at some point in their driving careers. Do even a cursory online search and you’ll see countless news stories of drivers getting scammed for hundreds – or even thousands of dollars – by thieves. For example, here’s a news story of a driver that lost over $400 to a scammer impersonating Uber support. Needless to say, having someone steal that much money from you can be devastating for anyone.
Fortunately, you don’t have to fall victim to these scams if you know what they are and how they work. With the right background knowledge, you’ll be aware and able to avoid anyone trying to scam you.
So, in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common Uber Eats scams, how they work, and what you should do to avoid becoming a victim of any of these scams. Let’s take a look.
Uber Eats Scams
While there are countless potential Uber Eats scams out there, most of them work in the same way. Here are the main scams you should be aware of if you’re driving for Uber Eats.
1. The Fake Uber Eats Support Scam
The most common scam used by thieves is the fake Uber Eats support scam. This is when someone calls pretending to be from Uber Eats support. They’ll then use your trust to get information from you and gain access to your Uber Eats account.
Here’s how it works. First, the scammer places a small order at a restaurant, usually at a fast food restaurant. Typically, the order will be for something like a soda or cookie at Mcdonald’s or another similar type of restaurant. After accepting the order, the scammer will then call the driver and pretend to be from Uber Eats support. Because the scammer placed the order themselves, they’ll know your name and the order details, which they can use to convince you that they work for Uber Eats.
For example, the scammer might call you, and say, “Hello, is this [your name].” Once you answer yes, they’ll say they’re calling about your current delivery and read out the order details to you. Typically, the scammer will then let you know there’s an issue with your account or with an issue with the order and that you’ll need to cancel it. To secure your account, they’ll then ask you to provide your login details and read back any two-factor authentication codes that are sent to you. By providing this information, the scammer can then gain access to your Uber Eats account, where they can then change your bank information (because you’ve given them your login details and all the two-factor authentication codes). The scammer then cashes out your Uber Eats balance into their bank account. If you have a sizeable balance, it can lead to a huge monetary loss.
Another variation of this scam is where the scammer calls you, again using the information they know about you from their scam order. They’ll then let you know you’re eligible for some bonus and you’ll just need to confirm your account information to claim the bonus. Some drivers, excited about this potential bonus, will provide this information without thinking about what’s really happening.
The big takeaway from these scams is to never give your account information to anyone, not even someone claiming to be from Uber Eats support. Remember this – Uber will never ask you for your account or login information (see this Uber page where they make that clear). If you receive a call like this, you should immediately hang up, then contact Uber Eats support. Uber will cancel the order for you and pay you for the order, as well as ban the scammer’s Uber Eats account.
2. The Customer Says You Didn’t Deliver Their Food
The second most common Uber Eats scam is where the customer makes a false claim that they did not receive their order. By claiming they didn’t receive their order, the customer can get free food. This scam is particularly terrible because it hurts Uber Eats drivers, who can be terminated over claims that they didn’t deliver a customer’s order, and also likely hurts restaurants because Uber Eats will probably do a chargeback on the restaurant to cover the cost of the meal.
Unfortunately, this is something you’ll almost always have to deal with at some point. To avoid potential issues, always try to document everything you did when delivering the order. If it’s a “leave at the door” order, you’ll be covered because you submit a photo of the delivery when you complete the order. If it’s an order that asks for a PIN, make sure you enter the customer’s PIN so that you’re covered by any claims that you didn’t deliver the order.
Another potential option to cover yourself is to document your deliveries. Some Uber Eats drivers wear body cams or GoPro cameras, which can be used as video evidence if a customer makes a false claim that their order was never delivered.
As a final option, if you have a bad feeling about a customer, taking a lot of photos of the delivery location can potentially be helpful. I know if I have a bad feeling about a customer, I’ll snap a photo at the address, just in case. It’s not foolproof by any means, but it’s at least something.
The absolute best thing you can do, however, is to have a good record of completed deliveries. Uber Eats isn’t going to deactivate you because a single customer claimed they didn’t get their order. If you have a lot of successful orders and a high customer rating, a false claim against you will have less impact. So, the best thing you can do is just keep a high customer rating and have a lot of completed deliveries under your belt.
One final word of advice. If you do receive a false claim that you didn’t deliver a customer’s order, do not, under any circumstances, confront the customer. Some people will do this out of anger or think that it’ll help them, but doing this will always lead to your deactivation and will just make things worse for you. Not to mention, it could put you in physical danger as well. It’s simply not worth it.
3. The Customer Picks Up The Food Before The Driver Gets There
One final scam that can happen is when an Uber Eats customer places an order on DoorDash, then goes to the restaurant before you get there and picks up the food before you arrive. Because they know the name on their order, they’ll ask for their order as if they are the Uber Eats driver picking up the food. When you arrive later, the restaurant will tell you they already gave the food to another driver, not realizing that it was the customer stealing the food. Later, the customer will get to cancel the order because their food never arrived. You get screwed out of a payout and the customer gets themselves a free meal.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to avoid this type of scam. The only thing you can do is contact Uber Eats support when this happens. They’ll usually give you a small payout when this happens, so you can at least get a little bit of money for the time you spent going to the restaurant.
Note that it isn’t always the case that the customer stole the food if you arrive and the order was already picked up. Uber Eats isn’t perfect and they sometimes will accidentally assign an order. So it is possible that another driver did pick up the food before you.
4. The Change Of Address Scam
This is less of a scam as it is a way for some customers to try to get deliveries from restaurants that are out of their range or to try to lower their delivery fees. In this situation, a customer will place an order with one address, then when you pick up the order, they’ll contact you and tell you they are actually at a different address and ask if you’ll deliver it to them. Most of the time, they’ll try to entice you by saying they will give you an extra tip.
If this happens, be aware you are under no obligation to make the delivery to a different address. Customers are responsible for putting the correct address and your only obligation is to deliver it to the address they have on file.
If the order isn’t much farther away (and I mean it needs to be within a few blocks of the original delivery address), I’ll often complete these orders. I’ll also deliver to a different address if the customer’s address is in a location I already plan to be in. Otherwise, I will not deliver it to a different address.
You have two options here. The first is to go to the address the customer put on file, then start the delivery timer. You can then take a photo of the delivery and leave it. The second – and better option – is to contact Uber Eats support and let them know. I think it’s better to get it on record, just in case the customer tries to say you didn’t deliver their order.
These are the primary Uber Eats scams you should know about when you’re delivering for Uber Eats. If you follow the tips in this post, you should hopefully be able to avoid any issues with these scams.
If you’ve encountered other Uber Eats scams that are worth mentioning, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I hope this information was helpful!