UK Uber users report bills for non-existent journeys
FBI asked to investigate ‘phantom’ trips as cab-hailing company denies security breach
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened an inquiry into how British users of ride-hailing app Uber have been charged for journeys they did not take, The Guardian reported.
Uber said it has found no evidence of a security breach, but UK users report bills for non-existent trips.
According to The Guardian, London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, will push for legislation to restrict the growth of Uber in the city, in an attempt to protect London's iconic black taxi business. The British daily also alluded to speculation of Uber account details having been stolen and sold via the online black market.
Jo Bertram, head of Uber's UK division, advised Uber users to be mindful of password choice and confirmed an investigation into the breach.
"We take any issue of this nature very seriously and, after investigating, have found no evidence of a breach at Uber," Bertram said. "Attempting to access and use Uber accounts fraudulently is illegal and we notify the authorities about such activity... Anyone who is charged for a trip they didn't book or take will get a refund."
Uber has faced mounting resistance worldwide over its private cab service, which allows pre-vetted car owners to offer their vehicles for hire through an online platform tied to a downloaded app. In countries as far afield as Germany and Australia, regulated taxi companies and national transport regulators have sought to curb the company's activities.
In August 2014 the company hired former White House staffer David Plouffe in a bid to stem the tide of negative press stories.
"[Journalists] are looking for stories that get clicks," Plouffe told ITP.net during an interview in Dubai last month. "But the truth is that what we're doing, which is trying to bring an innovative technology solution to transportation, is being embraced by more people every day. Because what they really care about is, ‘Is it the safest? Is it the most reliable? Is it the most affordable?'"