Ride-share drivers in the Hollywood area and nearby are being targeted by an electronic mugging scam, Los Angeles Police Department detectives say.
When the driver arrives to pick up a scammer, the scammer will enter the vehicle and say their destination has changed, said LAPD. The scammer claims that their phone is out of battery and asks to borrow the driver’s, which the scammer then uses to transfer money from the driver’s ride-share app to a bank account.
The scammer then leaves the car, claiming they don't need a ride anymore.
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Aluotto said the Hollywood area had several incidents of this scam in recent weeks, but he has seen similar incidents in other parts of LA.
Ride-share users said they are surprised by the crime.
"[The drivers] are just trying to make a living in this city and I think it’s kind of messed up that that’s even a problem," said Peyton Wildermuth, who uses ride-share programs.
Law enforcement officers said it is difficult to catch the scammers, but they encourage ride-share drivers not to give their phone to a passenger.