Police: ‘Person of Interest' in Custody After Fake Rideshare Driver Scams Passenger

A "person of interest" has been taken into custody amid an investigation into a fake Uber driver police say is stealing money from customers.

The Mount Prospect Police Department said Wednesday the "person of interest" was in custody but no charges had been filed as of the afternoon hours.

Authorities allege a driver has been scamming passengers by asking for a credit card after claiming there is something wrong with the passenger’s payment.

Police say a Mount Prospect resident was picked up by someone who looked like an Uber driver in Chicago near Clark and Ontario streets. The victim was taken all the way back to Mount Prospect when the driver claimed her payment wouldn’t go through the app. He then demanded she pay with her debit card and required the victim to enter her pin number on his phone, police say. The victim told police a few days later her bank account was short $1,200.

Mount Prospect Police said they are looking for the alleged scammer.

“Everybody needs money for the holidays and some people don’t care how they get it,” said Det. Dirk Ollech. “This victim saw an Uber sticker in the vehicle but those obviously can be obtained through other means.”

Since October, Chicago police have reported several similar incidents, adding up to thousands of dollars from victims. Uber says it offers safety tips for riders to follow—but police say using common sense is key.

“It seems like maybe people are becoming a little bit too trusting," Ollech said. “Just not following the safety steps.”

A decal on the window isn’t enough to go by, police say. Uber encourages riders to check the license plate against the one shown in the app, to make sure the driver matches the photo in the app and to ask for the driver’s name—and to never accept solicitations.

Mount Prospect and Chicago police are working together in an ongoing investigation.

Police are asking anyone who may have been victims of the driver to contact Chicago Police Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8382. 

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