This scam is not new, but is still plaguing Uber customers. This particular fraud is when a passenger, after being dropped off at their destination, receives a notification from Uber stating there was an "adjustment" to their bill and an additional charge between $80 and $150.
Customers, obviously curious as why they have been stricken with the additional charge, then reach out to Uber only to receive more messages saying that the additional charge was due to an incident on their trip and "clean up" fees. Each message is accompanied by photos of vomit somewhere in the vehicle.
According to the Miami Herald, Uber considers photos sent by drivers as sufficient evidence that such incidents have taken place. Uber policy is to charge at least $80 if a passenger has spilled a drink in a vehicle with a surface that is difficult to clean.
If "significant quantities of bodily fluids (urine, blood or vomit)" are left in the vehicle, drivers are allowed to charge up to $150 in order to compensate drivers for the extra time spent cleaning their cars.
The ride-hailing giant stated to the El Nuevo Herald that it did not have specific numbers of fraud cases but that most cleaning fee reports were legitimate.
William Kennedy, a Miami resident and alleged victim of "vomit fraud," told the publication his story.
Kennedy said when he took two trips one evening with neither one costing more than $20. The next day he received an email from Uber notifying him that he had been charged an additional $150 because he had vomited in both vehicles.
“It was a total fraud by two different drivers. They have everything planned for the fraud,” Kennedy said.
There are even ride-hailing drivers who never pick up the passenger but still charge for the trip according to the Miami Herald report.
Uber also reportedly told El Nuevo Herald, it is “actively looking into reports where fraud may be detected and will take appropriate actions on those accounts.”