Customer warns of ‘vomit fraud’ with ride-sharing app

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Here’s a scam warning if you use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

This is called “vomiting fraud”. There are several reports across the country on this. A rider contacted On Your Side, stuck with an $80 cleaning fee and swears she didn’t get sick.

Trish Curran lives in St. Louis. She was in Springfield to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Then I got an unexpected bill that makes your stomach turn.

“We were trying to do the right thing by making sure we weren’t drinking and driving. And then it happens,” Curran said.

Curran and his friends were heading to a hotel for the night.

“I got in the car, everything seemed fine. I had a nice conversation with this driver. She told us about her life. Talked about his daughter,” Curran said.

She paid for the ride and tipped the driver.

“About 10 minutes later I received a conversation from support that the driver was reporting that her vehicle had been damaged and that you were the last known person to request a ride. There were two pictures of what looked like vomit in the car,” she said.

His $18 ride rose to $98, stuck with cleaning fees.

“I am a 45 year old professional woman. I’m not going to throw up someone else’s car. I asked for the original photos five or six times to check them and see when they were taken. They won’t give them to me,” she said.

She received an email saying “No adjustments will be made to this claim.” It was about a month ago. On Your Side contacted Lyft on Monday and got results.

The company gave us this statement:

“We take damages disputes such as these very seriously. Lyft’s support team investigates each incident individually and makes a decision based on available evidence, such as photos and statements from the parties involved. After further investigation, we refunded the rider.

“I was glad they took this seriously, and it said in the voicemail I received that they were going to review how they handle them. After doing a bit more research, this driver said is the subject of multiple damage claims,” Curran said.

Lyft waived all charges. Damage charges, fare and tip.

Tips for dodging the ‘vomiting fraud’ scam

-Take a photo inside the car before you get out.

-Pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge.

-Check driver reviews.

If you still can’t get a refund, file a complaint with the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]

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Lance B. Holton