False rideshare drivers have been praying on young women across the country; it’s a deplorable epidemic that has swept through nearly every major American city.
A man posing as an Uber driver reportedly abducted a local woman from the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elizabeth Suarez recalls how she had to jump out of a moving vehicle to escape the miscreant.
Suarez booked an Uber for a safe ride home after a night out with a childhood friend. “So I get this notification from my phone saying that the Uber is arriving soon so head out to the valet,” Elizabeth said.
She noticed a car that matched the description on the Uber app. “And he gestures over to me, I open the car door, and I say hi, are you here for Liz? And he says, ‘yea, get in.’” It wasn’t until Suarez got a call from her actual Uber driver, that she realized she was in possible danger. Suarez recalled the car she was in was already down the road, and the Uber driver on the phone was still searching for her in the MGM parking lot.
“My heart sank. Because I knew I was in the wrong car. I have no idea who this guy is; I’m in trouble.” Suarez kept her composure as she didn’t want to insinuate out loud that she knew her driver was an imposter. She told the Uber driver she was fine and hung up. Suarez then proceeded to request for the imposter to drop her off. “I’m just thinking airport, just a lit area, even a gas station. I don’t care. I just said, sir, anywhere is fine, you can just drop me off here.’ He ignores me and keeps driving.”
Suarez then posted the experience on her Snapchat in hopes to alert her friends discretely, as she feared for her well-being. “And I thought well if he’s gonna kidnap me, what? You know? Rape? Kill me? Anything! All these thoughts are going in my head. And I froze.”
Suarez recounts that she didn’t alert the police while in the man’s vehicle because she had no idea of his intentions and how he might react if he found out she was trying to escape. “I’m just trying to stay calm, make my next move.” Suarez explained she took a side profile picture of him, but her flash went off, and that’s when things really escalated and she startled the delinquent.”That’s what he starts cursing: ‘give me your wallet! Give me your phone! Give me everything you have!” he shouted.
She threw her wallet at him but made sure she held onto her phone. Instead of letting her go, he sped up. “That’s when I open the car door, and it’s unlocked, and I just jump out without thinking,” Suarez said. She suffered a head injury, a fractured wrist, and a broken ankle from the jump.
Elizabeth was brave and poised throughout this traumatic experience. “I say that he broke some bones, but he didn’t break my spirit. I’m here, and I’m here to tell my story, and I’m doing it to warn other girls,” she stated.
In New York, drivers pretending to work for Uber line up outside the airports waiting to pick up customers in need of a ride. Once in the car, they complete the trip as an Uber driver would, but then charge you astronomical prices once you arrive at your destination, many times higher than what Uber would have cost.
Uber encourages all riders to adhere to their safety guidelines. They say riders should check the app and ensure they’re getting into the correct vehicle with the matching license plate before you get into any car. It’s also good practice to verify the driver’s name and picture. Always ask the driver to indicate who they’re picking up by name and never pay for your ride with anything other than the app.