Uber responds to customer complaints over added credit card charges

Uber has indicated that the recent complaints from customers relating to unauthorised credit card purchases could be fraud related. Picture: Pixabay

Uber has indicated that the recent complaints from customers relating to unauthorised credit card purchases could be fraud related. Picture: Pixabay

Published Oct 19, 2023


There has been talk on social media recently surrounding unauthorised credit card charges stemming from the online platform service provider, Uber.

A South African journalist recently posted a statement to twitter, saying she had to cancel her credit card because she got charged for an Uber trip that was not requested.

Uber responded to the tweet and asked her to “DM” them her details to clarify the matter.

The post racked up around 250 responses from other Uber customers that experienced a similar incident, most of which revolved around unauthorised credit card charges and bills that exceed the displayed amount.

Twitter user @TomKhosa said he cancelled his cards as a method of payment.

“I cancelled the card as my mode of paying! 2 reasons: - I got a call for a trip I never requested. I was billed for a cancelled trip! - I requested a trip but the car did not come.

“I cancelled and requested Bolt. Later, they claimed a car came for me & was charged!” Khosa said in the same thread.

Uber also responded to Khosa, asking for his personal details to follow up on the matter.

IOL asked Uber about some of the allegations that were made in the thread and if they knew what could be the cause of it.

An Uber spokesperson indicated that the cases could be fraud related.

Billing practices used by the e-hailing platform are in line with common e-commerce practices, Uber said.

“When you request a ride in the Uber app, one may receive a notification from your bank about an Uber charge. Uber may apply a temporary authorisation hold for the value of the fare in advance, which will appear as a pending charge in your account’s payment method.

“We take fraudulent behaviour seriously and have several safeguards in place to prevent, track and flag issues of fraud. A specialised team manually reviews each case before deciding if fraudulent activity has taken place.

“We also use 2 step verification, which is an optional feature that adds an additional layer of security to your Uber account upon login. It will ask you to input a one-time authentication code in addition to your Uber account password,” Uber spokesperson said.

If the cases stemming from customer complaints do in fact have anything to do with credit card fraud, it could mean that Uber will need to step up its security measures, as statistics from the Banking Ombudsman’s office show that cyber crimes are on the rise.

Banking Ombudsman Reana Steyn said authorities in the industry have been observing a new scam that utilises near-field communication (NFC) technology.

This is when fraudsters get a hold of your banking information, such as your bank card number, the last three digits on the back of your card or the “CVV” number and can make purchases via a digital wallet.

Steyn said the stolen information is used by the fraudster to link their device to a payment platform, like Samsung or Apple pay.

The fraudster can then use this platform to make unauthorised purchases without an OTP (one-time password).

“Unlike with the normal card not present (CNP) fraud transactions that we are accustomed to where the fraudsters would use the stolen card information to make online purchases which would prompt an OTPs to be sent to the registered cell phone number of the legitimate card-holder for each of the transactions made, NFC/digital wallet payments do not require this added OTP mitigation tool for each and every transaction,” Steyn said.

There were also instances in the same thread that related to Uber Eats customers getting billed more than the displayed amount.

“I ordered a meal from Uber Eats on Saturday, and the total, including a tip, was R1,256.00. They billed me R5,938.00, and I'm still waiting for resolution. Once the refund is in my account, I'm deleting all Uber apps,” Steve Claassens wrote.

Uber also responded to him, claiming they were going to rectify the matter.