Man posing as Uber driver lures Nampa woman into car

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jul 17, 2018

It was last call early Sunday at Denny's Lounge in Nampa when Sarah Moriarity decided to call an Uber home.

"So I came out of the Denny's Lounge door...and I was just staring at my cell phone, just trying to, like, check the Uber app or checking Facebook," she said. "And there was a car parked right here, and that's when he leaned out of the window, and he said, 'If you're waiting for Uber, I'm your driver."

But it was not her driver at all.

"So I got in his car, and we're pulling out of the Denny's parking lot, and we kind of get to the stoplight on Northside," she said. "And I kinda realized something's not right, because he pulls out his phone and he's kind of messing with the apps on it. And he's like, 'oh, my app isn't working, can you please remind me where we're going?'"

She began to realize the terrifying situation she was in: she had just gotten into a stranger's moving car.

"I was just texting my boyfriend, I'm like, 'Hey, if something happens to me- I'm dead- I don't know what to do."

That's when her actual Uber driver called her to ask where she was. She explained she got into a different car, but says she didn't want to let the posing uber driver know that she was onto him.

"As soon as I hung up the phone, the guy that was driving was like, 'Who was that?' and I was like, 'Oh that was Uber.' And he was like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot to tell my colleagues that my Uber app isn't working,' and I'm thinking, 'That's not how Uber works," she said.

"We got to my house, and when we pulled up, he's like, he said something about payment, and, at this point, I'm just wanting to get out of the car. And I was like, 'well usually Uber just charges my credit card.' And he's just like, 'You know what, you know, since the app's not working-- this ride's on me.'"

She made it safely to her home but is now left to wonder what his intentions were.

"He was like 'oh you seem really sober for only being at the bar-- for, for, or-- for coming from the bar.' and I was like 'Yeah, I wasn't really drinking that much."

Moriarity's story has Nampa Police urging rideshare users to use caution when getting into a foreign car.

"Both Lyft and Uber, they say that, on the app, when you request a car-- they show a picture of the car, they show a picture of the driver-- making sure that the car and the driver match the pictures that are on your app," Officer Peck of the Nampa Police Department said. "If they don't, don't get in the car."

While this is the first instance Officer Peck had heard of this in Nampa, he says he foresees this becoming an increasingly present danger as the city and rideshare app popularity grows.

Earlier this year, the Uber app added a panic feature that allows users to contact emergency dispatchers immediately in the case that something goes wrong. The safety center can be accessed during your trip by swiping up on the app's home screen.