The Uber Code Scam: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It

Be aware of this irritating scam

Text-messaging scams are commonly used by fraudsters, and it's tough to learn the origins of a text message. One popular scam is the Uber code text scam. Ever wondered why you keep getting Uber codes? You may be the target of this scam. Here's everything you need to know about the scam, as well as how to protect yourself. 

What is the Uber Code Scam?

The seemingly random Uber Code scam text involves unsolicited text messages that offer up a four digit Uber code advising you to reply STOP to the phone number in the message.

A phone displaying Uber text scam messages
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There are slight variants out there, but they all follow a similar theme, encouraging you to interact with the message, either by texting STOP or doing something else to do with it. 

How Does the Uber Code Text Scam Work?

The Uber Code Text scam relies on you blindly assuming you've received a message from Uber. You're sent a text message with a four digit Uber code advising you to reply STOP to the phone number in the message. 

Uber sends you a code when you're setting up a new account, so this scam relies on you wanting to avoid that by sending STOP. 

At best, if you send a message containing STOP, you demonstrate to the scammer they've found an active number so they may increase how much they text you. At worst, you could be replying to a premium rate number, leaving you to be charged a lot for it. Premium rate numbers get expensive fast and it's a quick and easy way for a scammer to make money out of you.

How Do The Uber Code Text Scammers Find Victims?

Because Uber sends texts legitimately at times, especially when setting up a new account, they're a prime target for scammers trying their luck. All a scammer needs to do is have a directory of random cell phone numbers to message. They can then easily work their way through the list, hoping someone will take the bait.

How Do I Avoid Getting Involved In This Scam?

It's tough to avoid being sent such scams as it's often randomly conducted by scammers who can find your number online, especially if you've signed up to services that may have suffered data breaches. However, you can learn to spot potential fraud.

The best thing to do is to look up the number you're sent before texting anything back. Check to see if it's a legitimate number from Uber. If in doubt, don't send the message. If it's a genuine Uber message, you'll almost certainly be able to identify it via the app or by contacting Uber support. 

I'm Already a Victim. What Should I Do?

Received an Uber code text message and responded to it? You may already be a victim, but don't panic. Google the number you've texted to see if it's a genuine Uber contact number. If it is, that's fine. If it's not, you may be charged extra for the text. Contact your network provider and discuss what to do with them.

You may be lucky though and you've just demonstrated that your phone number is active. Keep an eye out for any other scam text message and be wary in future. 

How Do I Avoid Being Targeted For The Uber Code Text Scam?

As the Uber Code Text scam often randomly targets people, rather than focuses on specific phone numbers, it can be tricky to avoid ever receiving such a message from a scammer. There are some key ways that reduce your chances though, including:

  • Don't hand out your phone number needlessly: Many places online are keen for you to hand over your personal details in exchange for setting up various services. Don't be too eager to hand everything over, especially where phone numbers are concerned. Oftentimes, it's not necessary.
  • Carefully read each text you receive: Smishing attempts rely on you not paying attention or blindly accepting the message you've received. Be aware and look out for anything that doesn't make sense to you. Trust your instincts.
  • Know how a company will contact you: Companies have different ways of contacting you. Some will send SMS messages while others don't. Be aware of how your company responds to things from you. If the company never sends text messages, then don't respond to any supposed texts from them. 
  • If in doubt, don't get involved: Not sure about a message? Go to the relevant official website and check there, rather than clicking any random links, as they can lead to fake websites. Go to the Uber app and sign-in to check what's going on with your account.