FOX 32 NEWS - Fake Uber drivers are the cause of a community alert on the Near North Side. Chicago police say they’ve struck at least four times in the last month, robbing unsuspecting passengers who’ve entered their vehicle.
The places those robbers targeted are busy areas like at Dearborn and Illinois, with hotels, restaurants and bars where people can easily get distracted. Police advise you if you're going to take a ride share, always be alert.
For Sabrina Mendez, Uber’s a way of life.
"I mean I take them at least a couple times a week,” Mendez said.
Mendez is shocked to learn Chicago police have taken four reports since Memorial Day weekend, in which a driver was pretending to work for Uber or Lyft.
"I'm gonna like be a little bit more attentive and make sure that they have the signs that say, okay, Lyft or Uber,” Mendez said.
The armed robberies happened at State and Illinois, the 1100 block of North State Street, 500 block of North Dearborn and 2000 block of North Halsted. Victims were either picked up, or were walking when someone used force or pulled out a weapon.
Chicago attorney Matt Belcher represents victims of the ride share economy. He urges passengers to be sure the license plate matches what’s on the app.
"Well let me just tell you, if you want to be super careful, what you do is you go up to the driver and say, what is your name because on your application, it'll have the name of the driver as well as the license plate,” Belcher said.
Wrong name, don’t get in. Passengers can share their Uber status with a friend on the Uber app once the car is moving.
"You can advance your status so that way another person can see where you're tracking on their Uber app or their Lyft itself,” Belcher said.
And so far, there is no one in custody.