Vomit fraud

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Vomit fraud is a type of fraud in which a transportation network company driver falsely claims that an "incident requiring cleanup" occurred while a passenger was riding in the driver's vehicle. The company then charges the passenger a "cleanup fee" to reimburse the driver for having to clean the vehicle.

History[edit]

The Miami Herald first reported on the issue in July 2018.[1] Ride-hailing passengers may face a fee of up to US$150 for causing incidents requiring significant cleanups of drivers' vehicles.[2] By filing false reports of these incidents, drivers will receive the cleanup fees from the customers even though no incident occurred.[3]

Criminality[edit]

Because passengers typically agree to terms of service that limit criminal liability on the part of drivers, police departments have been reluctant to press charges against individuals who engage in the fraud.[4] However, in late October 2018, a Harwood, North Dakota, man who had driven for both Uber and Lyft was charged with two counts of attempted theft of property for two separate instances of false cleanup claims. In once instance, the man was caught on surveillance video purchasing food, throwing it on the inside and outside of his vehicle, taking photos of the alleged damage, then running the vehicle through a car wash, all after he had already dropped his passenger off at his destination.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It's called vomit fraud. And it could make your Uber trip really expensive".
  2. ^ "Understanding Uber fees: The cancellation fee, cleaning fee, and more". 22 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Some Uber passengers are reportedly getting hit with $150 fines after drivers allegedly commit 'vomit fraud'".
  4. ^ "Don't Fall Victim to the Latest Uber Scam, 'Vomit Fraud'".
  5. ^ "McFeely: Harwood man charged in 'vomit fraud' cases".