Northgate

Northgate District, located across from campus along University Drive, is the local bar scene for many college students and Bryan-College Station residents.

In College Station, Northgate is the hub of nightlife and is often filled with college students and Bryan-College Station residents. Recently, there has been warnings on social media about someone pretending to be an Uber and Lyft driver along Northgate, and the safety precautions to take to avoid getting in the wrong car.

The original post was uploaded on the private Facebook group, Texas A&M free and for sale. Although the author of this post is still unknown, the message was copied to several other Facebook profiles and was reposted on Twitter by Colton Chumbley, Class of 2016.

“I wanted to reach out to the community to let everyone that ventures to Northgate know about a man pretending to be an Uber/Lyft,” the post said. “He’s been trying to pick up people (namely females) from Northgate, and other Uber/Lyft drivers in the area have noticed him as well.”

The post said the man rides in a black SUV. It also gave people advice on how to catch fake Uber and Lyft drivers.

“Do not offer them information, such as opening the door and asking, ‘are you (insert name)?’ or ‘hey, is this ride for (insert your own name)?’ Because clearly, anyone could just say yes and no one would be the wiser until it could be too late. If the driver is not capable of providing you with information that matches what is on your Uber/Lyft app, DO NOT GET IN,” the post said.

Social Media Officer for the College Station Police Department, Tristen Lopez said they have not received any calls or information about people pretending to be Uber or Lyft drivers around Northgate, but ask the community to reach out if they see something like this happening.

“We would always encourage our community to, ‘if you see something, say something.’ Any suspicious activity should be reported,” Lopez said. “...It’s not a waste of our time to check out something that is suspicious and find out there is a reasonable or logical explanation for what’s going on. We would rather be safe than sorry.”

Lopez said, if the post’s message is confirmed, the CSPD’s primary goal would be to get the word out on social media and let the community know what to look out for.

However, until the instance is investigated further, Lopez said it is better to travel in a group, especially when alcohol is involved, and to double check the driver’s information on the Uber or Lyft app before getting into the car.

“Whenever you can ride with friends that is safer advice than riding alone, but if you are going to ride alone don’t be afraid to ride in the back seat. Don’t ride in the front seat,” Lopez said.

(1) comment

MDirra

As a part-time ride-share driver, I STRONGLY disagree with the suggestions given: “Do not offer them information, such as opening the door and asking, ‘are you (insert name)?’ or ‘hey, is this ride for (insert your own name)?’ Because clearly, anyone could just say yes and no one would be the wiser until it could be too late. If the driver is not capable of providing you with information that matches what is on your Uber/Lyft app, DO NOT GET IN,” the post said. Because that "...anyone can just say yes..." goes both ways. We as drivers have little to no information about the rider. In most cases, all we get is a name and most times that name is fake or a "cute" name like "Mr. Big". We rarely ever get a picture and the times we do, it's usually an emoticon or not of a person. We don't know where the passenger is going until we accept the ride, which we shouldn't do until we verify we have the correct passenger. Our only way to verify we have the correct passenger is for the passenger to give us the name on the account. Otherwise, during those busy pick up times, if we go "Are you Mary?" the passenger desperate for a ride or that is intoxicated will just agree. The passenger, on the other hand, gets the make, model, color, license plate, and a picture of the driver. The passenger needs to do his/her due diligence to verify s/he is getting the correct vehicle with the correct driver. If anything doesn't match - CANCEL THE RIDE and report it to the ride-share company immediately. I have made it a habit to pull up and say "I'm ___- are you looking for an Uber/Lyft?" If they say yes, I then ask for the name on the account to verify I have the correct passenger. THEN - I unlock to doors and let them in my vehicle and start the ride and then verify the destination.

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