by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief
A man is ordering a car and driver through an app on his phone.
The driver shows up, and the man trustingly gets in, except, the driver is not who he is portraying to be.
An app called Uber has become popular. Through this app, people are able to order a car and a driver to come pick them up, much like a cab would.
Dangerous people have become aware of the popularity of the app and are taking advantage of it. There are people who have allegedly been assaulted and kidnapped by Uber imposters. Usually, drivers show up in a normal looking car, instead of something that looks more like a cab would.
As of now, when a driver accepts a request on the Uber app, his or her name will show up, along with a photo, vehicle make and model and the license plate number. They also do background checks on anyone who wants to be a driver for Uber.
“It’s still a catch 22, because there could still be bad people in there,” said Travis Nickelson, police officer on South Plains College’s Levelland campus. “You just don’t know who it is.”
According to Nickelson, the officers at SPC are trained in how to handle a situation dealing with Uber imposters if it were to arise. There are police protocols the officers involved would follow, including getting as many people involved in helping the person as possible and tracking down license plates and his or her cell phone.
The improvements in technology will help a lot if a situation did arise on campus, according to Nickelson. There are cameras that could catch a glimpse of the Uber imposter’s face or his or her license plate number.
“The best thing for people to do is to be aware of their surroundings,” said Nickelson. “If they don’t have a good feeling, walk away from it.”