If you’re planning a vacation around the country, traveling has never been easier, especially with so many rideshare opportunities available to make it easy to get around.

Apps like Uber and LYFT are highly accessible and easy to use. Many people rely on them, but it’s important to know that ride sharing apps are associated with risks. You do not want to become a victim of a rideshare scam.

You may not know what a rideshare scam is – many people do not recognize the risks involved. Yet, every day people face scams, including fraudulent charges, drivers who ask for extra cash, and even identity theft risks.

In some situations, a scam like this can lead to numerous problems. Sometimes they mean paying extra fees. Other times, they expose your personal information to those who may sell it, leading to identity theft or credit card fraud. In both of these situations, that can mean countless days spent trying to undo the damage to your personal information.

Rideshares can be a great way to get around, especially if you’re looking to cut travel costs on a family vacation. It’s not only smart to prepare yourself but also your family in order to help prevent scams or theft.

Here’s how to avoid rideshare scams while traveling.

How Do Rides Sharing Scams Happen?

Rideshare scams range widely. Here are a few of the most common rideshare scams.

Drivers asking for extra cash: This can happen for many reasons, such as to pay tolls or because the trip took longer than expected.

Fraudulent charges: Drivers may attempt to charge people for costs they do not owe, such as for cleaning up messes that never occurred. Check out Lyft’s security page and Uber’s fraud activities page if you need to report suspicious activity to your ride sharing account.

Phishing scams: These include a range of situations in which users receive phishing emails that ask for personal information.

You may receive what looks like a website from a ridesharing company you know, but it is actually from a person trying to capture your personal information.

Cancellation fees: In this situation, your account is charged for the ride, but the ride share driver did not show up. They may have canceled the trip. This can take an unexpected hit to your budget and leave you without needed cash.

Requesting personal information: Some drivers may ask for personal information or ask to verify their ID. There’s no need to provide that.

Signs of Rideshare Scams for Travelers

There are a few consistent signs that a scam might be occurring. Here are things to avoid: Don’t use a cash-only ride. That is likely to be a scam.

Only use the app to get your driver. If someone happens to be available, be leery of providing your personal identifiable information.

If the ride share driver asks for your personal information, be leery about giving it to them.

How to Help Avoid Ridesharing Scams as a Traveler

Avoiding rideshare scams starts with knowing as much as you can about them and then knowing how to take action if you are a victim. Here are a few things you can do now before you travel to help avoid this scam.

Take a photo of the car’s interior as you are leaving it. That way, no one can say that you made a mess and try to charge you more for the cleanup.

Don’t provide your personal information. You should not have to provide your personal details to the provider. Only do this on the app.

If you feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t use the ride sharing service.

Where to Report Rideshare Scams

If you believe you are the victim of a rideshare scam, be sure to take action. Your first step is to contact the company you’ve used, such as Uber and Lyft, and let them handle the matter.

If you believe your personal information has been leaked, check your credit report for suspicious activity. Monitor your identity and credit for suspicious actions.

It’s always best to prevent such scams whenever possible. It can help protect your credit and personal information from scams like these.

Watch our video below for more on rideshare app scams!