Tag Archives: rideshare

UBER allows driver to register with fake insurance/registration documents

Nearly an entire YEAR after the Guardian discovered it was possible to register on the Uber platform using fake insurance documents , Ride Safe Madison replicated the same investigation.

To our shock, not only did Uber clear our mole driver with a fake insurance and vehicle registration but they accepted over four different versions of these fake documents.

While Uber and their pundits are not the sharpest people compared to other confidence and pyramid scams I’ve dealt with, they have much more PR spin capital and a relentless will to use it.
At each and every stage of uncovering conclusive evidence that Uber technologies is actively promoting and profiting from insurance and consumer fraud, the company has been able to shrug it off and continue winning the hearts and minds of customers, media outlets and politicians on every side of the spectrum around the globe.
On the municipal level, Uber was unable to win support in Madison.
However with the support of the walker administration, Republican Majority leaders in the state senate and assembly, The Koch industries lobbying front Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and even some Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly, Uber lobbyists were successful in handing off two scripted pieces of legislation which entirely supplanted municipal transportation regulations state wide.
Senate Bill 106 and Assembly Bill 143 grant Uber and other TNCs (Transportation Network Company) the ability to operate state wide in Wisconsin with with virtually none of the regulatory oversight that Taxi Cab companies are mandated too and absolutely no municipal oversight.
The passage of both bills fit a common theme of commercial deregulation and consumer protections deconstruction that the Walker administration has practiced regularly in the legislative process.
Not long after the passage of 106 and 143, I was inspired to do a deeper investigation of Uber to test a theory about the background check and driver application process the company uses.
The investigation
Using Uber’s own driver application process, an individual would apply to be an Uber driver using the company’s online and app based application process. Fake insurance and registration documents would be uploaded to Uber along with the individual’s actual driver’s license. It took some time to find the right individual to volunteer for this but last month I found a person willing.
The application
Over three weeks we submitted four different fake insurance and registration documents.
**Portions have been covered in order to protect the identity of the mole driver.**

Third and final version of fake registration that was accepted.
The documents did not look real to the naked eye and contained several discrepancies that would be simple to detect for anyone actually looking. Despite the obvious lack in veracity of the documents and deception in their content, Uber accepted them and the individual applying as a fully certified Uber driver.
Uber did not even inspect or ask for pictures of the vehicle listed on the fake documents. Though a vehicle did exist, is was not in working order and had been out of registration for months before the application was submitted.
At any point during the application process, any one of the uber techs who spoke with the individual applying or myself could have easily checked either of the fake plate numbers we provided with Wisconsin’s free public DOT plate search service. The service requires no registration or payment to use and takes under 15 seconds to enter and be provided results for any plate number listing the vehicle’s make, year and model as well as notification for the plate being in registration or not.

The first plate number we submitted on fake documents to Uber. Comes up on WI DOT is not a registered plate.

The Plate number on the current vehicle registration Uber accepted and currently has as active on the driver’s profile. The registered vehicle on Uber is a 2001 Buick, the registration is for a 1994 Ford.
The “Driver”
After the driver was activated on Uber, we began a series of test runs to verify that they were in fact activated on the app, available to Uber customers and able to engage rides with customers through the app. We then performed a series of fake ride engagements with volunteer Uber users who knew the driver was registered without proper documentation. The driver canceled each of the ride requests in order to prevent the Users being charged or incriminating themselves as an actual Uber driver.
Our mole driver active on the Uber app (video): https://youtu.be/17VSk9UAj2U
Inside Uber’s office on Whitney Way

601 N Whitney Way Suite C – Uber’s second Madison Office.
After our ride request recordings, we decided to have our driver visit the Uber offices at 601 Whitney Way. During this visit the driver wore a recording device. Much of the conversation between the driver and the “operations manager” “Paul” (no last name listed on company profile), was fairly innocent.
However when asked if the driver should contact their own insurance company to advise them of the driver using their vehicle for Uber, Paul became somewhat vague on the subject and referred the driver to a state farm agent who was actually stationed at the Uber office.
State farm is currently offering rideshare drivers an insurance coverage policy that charges the driver a considerable amount more than a standard liability policy while not actually covering their driving as a rideshare and limiting the number of hours they can drive as a rideshare. State farm has yet to provide the public with any hard numbers that these kinds of policies are actually being sold to rideshare drivers in numbers that represent more than a very small percentage. While the conversation with the Operations manager Paul and the State farm agent were only somewhat unnerving for the driver, a conversation picked up on the recording between Paul and another Uber driver in the office beforehand was much more interesting. Apparently this other Uber driver had been allowed to provide more than 500 rides to customers with a vehicle that was not properly registered on the Uber application.
***Recording provided to the Wisconsin DSPS and FTC for further investigation before release***
A near pinch
During the application process in a live chat conversation with Uber techs, I was asked to upload the insurance document to the tech in real time through the chat service so he could verify it. The tech noticed that the Vin number for the vehicle we submitted was different from that of the first version of the fake insurance policy I uploaded.
**From transcript provided by Uber’s online driver tech support chat service**

(08:05:14)Estepenson VL: Great, I have all the information now.

(08:05:36)mole: sooooooooooooo, how long do i have to wait now?

(08:05:45)Estepenson VL: By the way, it looks like the vehicle registration and vehicle insurance didn’t match.

08:06:03)mole ???

(08:07:05)Estepenson VL: The VIN of the vehicle registered in the registration does not match with the VIN registered in vehicle insurance.

(08:07:51)mole that cant be, it is the same vehicle(08:09:01)Estepenson VL: My apology about the confusion.

(08:10:23)mole: One sec, I just noticed the VIN, it is from my old car, my agent didnt update the VIN on the policy

(08:10:41)mole: Im starting to wonder if anyone ever does their job anymore

(08:10:51)Estepenson VL: Yes, mole.

(08:10:55)mole: ok,… I have to call my insurance agent

(08:11:09)mole: aaaaaand get a new policy update

(08:11:18)mole: ……………great

(08:13:24)Estepenson VL: Yes mole, I will also refer your account to our Advance Team to update the result of your background check status. I see here that it is still on process status and yet you have already received the result.

I thought for certain the next question he would ask is if the policy was fake.
Which he did not. I immediately explained the discrepancy away as our fake insurance agent having forgotten to update the Vin number on a recent policy change from one fake vehicle to another. While the Vin number on the next policy version I provided Uber was for a real vehicle, the registration on the vehicle had been out for nearly a year and also originated in another state with the plate number which was also out of registration. Through out the entire process of dealing with Uber’s online driver tech support chat It was very simple to convince Uber’s tech support with the fake documents. Never once were either myself or the driver questioned as to the documents being fake.
The aftermath and why Uber is stuck using uninsured and fake drivers.
A similar investigation had been done by The Guardian nearly a year ago in Britain.
However that investigation used a currently registered uber driver who uploaded a fake insurance policy as a replacement to his existing one registered on the platform.
The fake insurance document provided was also much better looking than the one we provided.
However Uber obviously did nothing in the way of actually verifying the insurance policy or it’s source. Nor has Uber since remedied the problem or made any public statement that the discrepancy The Guardian investigation discovered would ever be remedied.
Again, this was a year ago.
In our investigation all but the driver’s license were entirely fake and fabricated documents. This investigation took place right here in Madison, Wisconsin.
Uber not only accepted the documents but they made no effort to verify that the insurance company, the insurance policy or the vehicle registration were actually real despite the availability of easy to access and free to use open public records which would have verified any of these documents.
The reason why Uber can not change or this system of driver application or actually verify the documents they are given is because it would force Uber to provide protections and liability for their customers and drivers that the company can not afford. Uber profits by using individuals with their own vehicles and their own liability for operating those vehicles.
In both the Uber driver contract:
Uber customer TOS (customer contract for using the service):
It is stated and restated in the agreement terms that the Driver and Customer are waiving their rights to the provision of liability by Uber for the Insurance and safety of the service.
This keeps the insurance policy Uber claims to provide in an easily deniable situation of liability which falls to the drivers and the customers to endure when and if there is an accident or situation that would normally fall to the liability of the transportation provider to cover as with Taxi Cabs, buses, trains, air transportation, water taxis and any other vetted and properly regulated transportation service.
This explains why the majority of Wrecks with uber and other TNC companies like Lyft go uninsured.
The majority of Uber and Lyft drivers also fail to acquire their own commercial insurance to perform rides for hire or even inform their own insurance provider that they are using their own vehicle for commercial purposes as an Uber driver.
Insurance policy terms very clearly indicate that failing to inform your insurance provider of commercial activity with a personal vehicle is a violation of the policy which will entirely invalidate coverage.
Uber advertises the notion of using your own vehicle as a commercial service with their app but they openly discourage and fail to advise drivers that they must either inform their own insurance provider or obtain their own commercial insurance policy in order to maintain proper insurance while driving people for hire.
The rideshare insurance packages offered by companies like state farm also fail to entirely cover drivers while they operate for Uber and other ridesahres.
If Uber drivers were actually aware or considerate of the insurance shortfall with the platform, Uber would lose too many drivers to maintain business and profit.
Uber relies on drivers who are ignorant to the ramifications of driving without insurance or knowingly supply the service without proper insurance for their customers.
This model of business provides a large and irresistible profit margin for Uber. This is why Uber can not and will not change this method of driver application.
This is why Uber has refused to provide service in any city, state or country that has demanded their drivers directly contact and verify contact with their own insurance providers and regulatory bodies before providing services through uber.
In light of the evidence we collected, it is impossible for uber to deny that their platform and method of application is in fact failing to ensure drivers are properly insured or operating vehicles that are properly registered.
The current state law in Wisconsin regarding TNC companies has placed the regulation of these companies with the DSPS (Department of Safety and Professional Services) which must answer for this flaw in the application process with Uber, Lyft and any other TNCs operating in Wisconsin.
It should be within the power of DSPS to require TNC drivers to verify their insurance status and make the proper notifications to their own insurance providers in order to insure actual insurance coverage for their customers.
Either that or yet another piece of legislation passed by the Walker administration should be facing Judicial oversight for the obvious danger it is now putting Wisconsin residents in.
Before Bills 106 and 143 were passed, I provided a full presentation of the dangers these bills presented to each of the state Assembly and Senate members.
I provided clear warnings for things that have since come to pass not only here in Wisconsin but world wide because of the uninsured operations of ridesahre companies. These were not mystic predictions or anecdotes but rather the simple facts of what would and has come to pass as the cause and effect of allowing the uninsured operations of a company with no regard for public safety or proper insurance liability as a means of doing business.

-Justin La Plante, Ridesafemadison.net


Uber should be held Liable for wrongful deaths in passenger assualt incidents including Kalamazoo mass shootings

It should be noted to the families of those slain in the recent Kalamazoo shootings as well as other victims of passenger and also driver assault with the Uber service that Uber technologies has had in place since October of LAST YEAR, a LIVE 1-800 number for reporting drivers and customers.
This 1-800 service was not discovered until March of 2016.
The company was keeping this service a secret and claimed that the 1-800 number was not for “emergency” use.
Though the release of the 1-800 number was for “limited areas” the number can be accessed nationally and the representatives available have access to Uber driver and customer information NATION WIDE.
The system operates by putting the caller in touch with a live Uber representative who has access too:
-Active and inactive Driver and passenger records.
-DIRECT Communication with uber representatives who are able to track and locate drivers in real time through the app’s “god mode”.
Shortly before the Kalamazoo shootings began, an Uber customer who had riden with the shooter Jason Dalton, posted the following picture and warning to facebook after getting no direct response from Uber for his complaints through the app reporting service until hours AFTER the shootings had occurred.
If Uber had made their passengers aware of the 1-800 service this incident could have undoubtedly been prevented. Uber customers had been complaining to uber through the app about Dalton’s erratic and dangerous driving for hours before the shootings began.
Traditional taxi companies are constantly in contact with their drivers and maintain full knowledge of their current location. If an incident is reported with a taxi driver a live dispatch is directly in contact with the customer and direct reports are called into the police for incidents concerning dangerous driving and assaults.
Uber’s method of customer incident reporting through the app exchanges text messages and emails which typically take Uber several hours to respond to.
Since October of 2015 when uber established the 1-800 number there have been over 41 incidents with Uber drivers, all of which could have been either prevented or directly responded to by law enforcement if Uber had been properly relaying incident reports on behalf of their customers and drivers.
Take into account the circumstances of wrongful death lawsuits:

In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:

The death of a human being;

Caused by another’s negligence, or with intent to cause harm;

The survival of family members who are suffering monetary injury as a result of the death,….

A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, such as in the following situations:

Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;

Automobile or airplane accident;

Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;

Criminal behavior;

Death during a supervised activity.


A simple break down of the factors that indicate Uber is liable:
– A system of safety or safe guarding that was in place at the time of the incident that could have prevented the incident but was either not employed by operator (in this case Uber) or not properly made available to the customer or general public (in this case the 1-800 number that was active at the time but not included in Uber’s available forms of communications to customers or the general public).
– A series of early warnings and complaints submitted by customers INDICATING A CLEAR DANGER TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AND A DANGER TO THOSE NOT USING THE SERVICE (the general public) which were submitted HOURS BEFORE the incident but not acted upon by the operator (in this case uber) until HOURS AFTER the incident.
– In these circumstances when these factors existed in previous wrongful death suits and civil actions the companies were very clearly found liable.
– These factors hold Uber liable that they were submitted and held complaints indicating a clear public danger AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY BEFORE the shootings took place.
Since Uber DID in fact have a system in place that could have prevented many of these incidents or at the very least hurried the response time of law enforcement to them, the liability does rest with Uber for not having the system made available through the app to it’s customers and with open notice the general public through it’s website and not acting upon complaints which were submitted HOURS before the shootings took place.

Madison Uber driver claims Uber advised him to defraud his insurance and customers (video).

Full Video: Uber driver defrauds insurance and customers.

Meet Mark Grassman of Stoughton, WI.  Like so many other Uber drivers and customers who have recently called our support line, he did not read any of the content on our web pages, facebook pages or any disclaimers on our ‘Uber of madison’ Facebook page.  These disclaimers and the obvious content of our facebook and web pages state clearly that we are in no way involved with uber Technologies and we advise strongly against the use of these services for clear insurance and safety issues.

But for some reason mark assumed we were somehow involved with Uber and would help him with his issue of customer ratings that he feels were unfair.

Mark operates his mercedes in Madison, WI for Uber and does so while clearly defrauding his own insurance provider and customers by not properly reporting to his insurance provider that he is using the vehicle for for hire use as an Uber driver.

Because of Uber’s shady contracting terms, a driver who lies to their own insurance provider will not be covered by Uber if a wreck occurs.   In many cases Uber’s insurance has failed to deliver even when the driver is not at fault and has properly informed their own insurance provider.

But as you can hear from the video, mark has no concern to the safety of passengers or the general public outside of his vehicle while he drives.  He just wants better ratings from customers.

Mark claims that Madison Uber representatives advised him NOT to inform his own insurance provider.

Like them or not, Taxi cabs carry real insurance that you never have to worry about not being there if your driver happens to mangle you in a wreck.

With Uber,it took a year long lawsuit just for the company to pay out in the case of a six year old child that one of their drivers killed.

We have since made sure to inform Mark’s insurance provider and carfax of the vehicle’s use as a commercial provider.

When you drive human beings around for money, you should have insurance to protect those people.  Anything less, is entirely criminal.  Simple as that,

Illegal open bottle service in your Lyft car

Meet Megan Swanger, A Lyft driver in Citris Heights California.

Like so many other Lyft and Uber drivers, Megan has yet to address the open bottle law.

We don’t know if Megan is still working for lyft after this post which came up on her PUBLIC facebook stream three days ago.  It would not be very surprising if she was still driving for Lyft and/or Uber.








Here is the national database for state laws concerning  ALCOHOL in vehicles.

In California:

 Cal. Vehicle Code §23220 et seq.
(a) No driver shall drink any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle upon a highway.
(b) No passenger shall drink any alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle upon a highway.

Cal. Vehicle Code §23223
(a) No driver shall have in his or her possession, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of §23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle, containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

(b) No passenger shall have in his or her possession, while in a motor vehicle upon a highway or on lands, as described in subdivision (b) of §23220, any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed.

Cal. Vehicle Code §23229
(a) Except as provided in §23229.1, §23221 and §23223 do not apply to passengers in any bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority, or the living quarters of a housecar or camper.

(b) Except as provided in §23229.1, §23225 does not apply to the driver or owner of a bus, taxicab, or limousine for hire licensed to transport passengers pursuant to the Public Utilities Code or proper local authority.

And as we all know Lyft and Uber vehicles ARE NOT cabs, limos or busses or given any permit in california that makes them exempt from the no alcohol statute.

Madison Rideshare (Uber & Lyft) drivers behaving badly Part 1

List of current Madison Rideshare drivers with false plates, no registration or no valid insurance on the vehicle:

None of the vehicles on this list have commercial insurance on the vehicle or proper notification to insurance provider, lein holders, warranty providers or service plan providers *invalidates Uber and Lyft policy coverage*.  Meaning NONE of these vehicles have proper coverage of their own or from Uber or Lyft for transporting customers.

Lyft Toyota Corolla 2005 113-HXE
Uber Toyota Matrix 2003 739-GEG (confirmed still active) 
Uber Saab 9 – 3 2004 643-UAY
Lyft Honda Accord 2002 457-VGD Registration is not valid.
Lyft Chevrolet Aveo 2007 592-NES Registered to black 2005 Pontiac
Uber Nissan 2010 487-SZB
Lyft Toyota Rav4 2014 119-MKX
Lyft Chevrolet HHR 2007 974-HZE
Lyft/Uber Hyundai Sonata 2011 432-VTN
Lyft Mitsubishi Galant 2006 G0T T0YZ
Uber Saturn Vue 2006 496-HBU
Uber Subaru Outback 2011 595-PGA
Uber VW Golf 2012 806-MCU
Uber Scion xD 2011 282-KRP
Uber VW Jetta/Passatt ADZ6403 Washington State 
Lyft Mazda Mazda3 2011 946-TAF
Lyft/Uber Toyota Prius 2010 721-VDV (confirmed still active)
Uber Chevrolet Sonic 2013 723-WBT
Uber Honda Civic 2006 219-VWS
Uber Toyota Avalon 2006 G1FT 4 U
Uber Toyota Yaris 2008 927-VLA
Uber Toyota Corolla 2006 704-VHW
Uber Toyota Highlander 2008 798-RPU
Uber Honda CR-V 474-VTH Registered to white 2007 Toyota
Uber Chevrolet Traverse R77 2672 Illinois
Lyft VW Jetta 2009 962-UHT
Uber Toyota Camry 2010 788-SGB
Uber Toyota Corolla 2007 883-PRH
Uber GMC Yukon 2007 403-ECW
Uber Lincoln Town Car 2004 420-WKY
Uber Ford Escape 2009 608-VVP
Uber Nissan Versa 2013 433-WCJ
Uber Toyota Rav4 2009 634-UKD
Uber Toyota Highlander 2008 877-MDT
Uber Saturn Vue 2006 496-HBU
Uber Toyota Sienna 2004 278-URK
Uber Toyota Corolla 2011 144-SEV
Uber Toyota Camry 2013 218-SUY
Uber Toyota Corolla 335-WWS Registered to green 2002 GMC
Uber Toyota Camry 2009 555-VHG
Uber Mazda Mazda5 2008 868-UTK
Uber BMW 3-series 2006 394-SRP
Uber Nissan Altima 2005 912-PKP
Uber Toyota Camry 2009 537-RGG
Uber Toyota Camry 2012 716-RGN
Uber/Lyft Toyota Rav4 2014 520-WML
Uber Honda CR-V 2007 626-UNN
Uber Ford Focus 2012 990-WZB
Uber Toyota Matrix 2009 968-SGR
Uber Chevrolet Aveo 2009 422-TUT
Uber Toyota Prius 2012 425-WLB
Uber VW Routan 2010 733-TSY
Uber Toyota Prius 2010 483-PPU
Uber Volvo XC70 2004 318-ACV
Uber Cadillac Escalade 2007 JH4012 WI Truck plate
Uber Hyundai Elantra 2013 292-TLA
Uber Toyota Camry 2008 850-XCD
Uber Toyota Camry 2014 781-WWH
Uber Toyota Rav4 2004 554-RTU
Uber Toyota Prius 2011 626-CRT
Uber Honda CR-V 2010 34212U WI UW-Madison plate, registered to black 2010 Mazda
Uber Buick Lucerne 576-KBW Registered to grey 2006 Volvo
Uber Nissan Rogue V94 3934 Illinois plate
Uber Kia Sportage 2008 355-NES
Uber Chrysler Pacifica 929-SWN Registered to white 1996 Dodge
Uber Pontiac Vibe 2006 752-TVJ
Uber Mitsubishi Raider 2007 JH1743 WI Truck plate
Uber Toyota Camry 2014 714-WML
Uber Honda Civic 2012 811-WZH
Uber Infiniti G35 VVY995 Indiana plate
Uber Chrysler 300 2006 970-NUY
Uber Chevrolet Traverse 2009 680-TZN
Uber Nissan Cube 2011 609-WUU
Uber BMW 3-series 2013 491-VUW
Uber VW Tiguan 2013 451-TXB
Uber Toyota Corolla 2003 257-THK
Uber GMC Yukon 2015 632-WMK
Uber Nissan Altima 2011 642-VTA
Uber Chrysler Town & Country 2014 495-VRS
Uber Mercury Sedan 2004 414-XBC
Lyft Honda SUV (Pilot/CR-V) 2007 626-UNN
Uber SUV 667-XWD black, no registration found
Uber Sedan W0JCH black, 0 with slash, likely Iowa plate
Uber Honda 2009 605-VJL
Uber Chevrolet 2002 5772B If WI plate, 2002 green Chevrolet special collector plate
Uber Toyota 2013 121-UTD
Uber Dodge 2004 394-SRB silver
Uber Toyota 2005 543-RLG gray
Uber Toyota 2008 699-MJS gray
Uber Toyota 2014 714-WML gray
Uber Lexus SUV 2014 609-VXG black
Uber Kia 2008 355-NES white
Uber Chrysler SUV 2007 929-SHN silver
Uber Toyota 2005 562-VUM grey, plate lookup also gave “inspection required” warning
Uber Nissan SUV 2014 310-SBR red
Uber Honda 2013 435-VUU
Uber Ford 705 9480 Kentucky plates, black hybrid
Dodge 2009 500-SKX black
641-HRC Registered to 1989 Chevrolet (wouldn’t be allowed by Uber)
Dodge 2010 399-UKL black
Dodge 2010 927-TVJ grey
Lexus 2009 683-TCN red
Dodge 2007 756-XBW blue
Chrysler Town & Country V50-733D White IL plates
Hyundai Elantra 790-WLH Silver
Dodge mini-van 756-XBW dark
Toyota Matrix 810-VMT Silver
Toyota Corolla 883-PRH Dark blue
Toyota Sienna 543-RLG Silver with dent in rear bumper
hatchback 299-WHT White
Toyota Prius 955-RXY On State St. making U-turns
Toyota Sienna 114_NEJ Dark
Pontiac Vibe 488-AHJ white
Nissan Sentra 299-VHT might be VGT on State St.
Honda CRV 750-WNC Red