Uber customer in Philly gets surprise charge of $28,000

By Jason Laughlin
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In March 2015, “Motherboard”, an online tech magazine, reported hackers were selling information on the dark web about thousands of Uber accounts for $1 an account, allowing buyers to take Uber rides on someone else’s dime. Bottom line, be on the lookout….double check your credit card statements!


What Uber has described as “a glitch” in its computers led to a number of users’ being charged improperly, in at least one case for more than $28,000, according to the ride hailing app giant.

The company said the glitch affected “a handful” of users and was a temporary problem. Its engineers are working to ensure a similar glitch doesn’t happen again, according to a statement from the San Francisco-based company.

Uber typically puts an authorization hold on an account when a person orders a ride as a way to confirm the payment method.

The glitch caused that authorization to be much larger than is normally charged.

The company declined to say how many people were affected, but at least one Philadelphia woman, who declined to be named, said her bank flagged and blocked a charge from Uber for $28,639.14.

The explanation of what happened was contradictory. Initially, the Philadelphia woman received an email from Uber stating her account was hacked.

“Your sign-in information seemed to have been compromised/phished from another website and then tested on our platform,” the Dec. 9 message from Uber’s customer service stated. “This kind of fraud is highly sophisticated.”

Six days later, though, the company sent another email saying it had erred and her account “had not been compromised.”

“Your information is safe, and the charge that appeared on your credit card statement was an unusually large authorization hold,” Uber customer service wrote in the Thursday email. “This was never processed as a payment, and our engineering team has been made aware of this error.”

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