Across the nation, we are bombarded with messages about safe drinking practices, foremostly, avoiding driving after an evening of drinking. Many mitigate this problem by calling a ride share company such as Lyft or Uber to assist them in getting home safely. While this has significantly helped reduce safety concerns stemming from drunk driving, these services have given birth to a whole new kind of criminal activity. Therefore, it is imperative to take adequate safety precautions to ensure you avoid clever criminal activity and protect your well-being.
The harrowing tale of a Washington woman who was not so lucky is making headlines after a man with criminal intent masqueraded as her ride-share driver, leading to her mistakenly entering the wrong vehicle where she was subsequently raped. The incident allegedly occurred on December 16, 2018 after a friend contacted a ride-share company for her female friend who was going home from a Seattle bar.
The incident could happen to anyone. The victim when attempting to locate her driver, was overwhelmed with many rideshares parked outside the bar and was unsure who was her driver. She innocently asked the masquerading driver if he was the correct ride at which point, he assured the victim he was. Unfortunately, this was far from the truth and during the commute to her home, his car pulled off the highway where the victim was viciously assaulted and raped against her will.
After the sickening act was committed the victim’s assaulter took her home to her address, where he unlocked her door and returned her cellphone.
Other victims of similar circumstances have not faired so well. With the recent high-profile cause of a University of South Carolina student meeting a horrific demise after accidently entering a car that was not her Uber and driver. After the Victim Samantha Josephson entered the car mistakenly, she did not stand a chance as she was held hostage in the back seat due to activation of the car’s child locks by her kidnapper/killer.
Safety Tips If you find yourself in need of a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft, don’t be afraid to utilize the service, instead be aware and take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of a compromising or deadly situation. Be sure to verify the license plate number and vehicle make/model are the same as they were listed on the app. Additionally, be sure to verify the driver against the listed photo on the app and double check his or her name, prior to entering the vehicle. It is also advisable to directly ask your driver to verify what your name is. The real driver will be aware of the person he or she is to be picking up. Being aware and double checking before entering the vehicle can prevent a deadly mistake.