Cancun Uber and taxi drivers have been in the news in recent months due to a battle between Uber drivers and drivers for a certain taxi union that operates in the city. Now Uber is in the news again, but for a different reason, this time one that can have a greater effect on tourists, as a warning has been issued regarding “fake Ubers.” The warning comes after the accounts of some Uber drivers were recently hacked. More specifically, some accounts were cloned by hackers, allowing them to access the Uber platform.
It is actually the WhatsApp accounts of the Uber drivers that are being cloned by these criminals, which ultimately allows them to access the Uber accounts of legitimate Uber drivers. They are then able to offer services through the app, even though the accounts that they are using are someone else’s. For the customer who uses the digital platform, this puts them at risk of getting in an unknown vehicle with an unknown driver that has not been vetted by the Uber company at all.
Since there is no real way to solve the problem yet, warnings are being issued to users of the platform in order to avoid endangering themselves by taking a ride from a fake Uber driver. Individuals who use Uber for rides are also being asked to cancel their ride and report the incident to Uber if they are asked for any additional information about themselves, such as their phone number, for example. The Uber platform provides all of the information about a customer that the driver needs to know, so asking for any additional information is suspicious, to say the least.
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The warning about Fake Ubers comes from Eduardo Paniagua, who is the national President of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies. In his statement, he indicated that anybody who uses the digital service right now could be in danger. In his warning, he stated that “We are in serious danger on the issue of personal safety, because we do not know who or who are the people who can go to present this alleged Uber service and endanger your life and that of your loved ones.”
Taxis are how the majority of the people who visit Cancun get from Cancun International Airport to the Hotel Zone. Others take private or shared hotel shuttles, which are a little bit pricier, but you can save by booking in advance and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you booked a legitimate driver to transport you. Shared shuttles can start as low as $12.00 each trip when scheduled ahead of time, and private shuttles as low as $16.00 each way. Ubers are not allowed to operate at the airport, but can be used elsewhere in Cancun for transport.
Ubers are not the only type of transportation that tourists have had to worry about being fake. Earlier in the year, warnings were issued to tourists regarding the operation of fake taxis posing as licensed taxi services as well. In this case, criminals would disguise their own vehicles as real, legitimate taxis and offer rides to tourists at the airport or in the hotel zone.
Taxi drivers have also come under scrutiny in the past for allegedly overcharging customers as well. For this reason, officials advise tourists to immediately determine the price of their ride upon entering the vehicle. This way, there is no opportunity for the taxi driver to charge more than what you expected to pay.
Cancun is a safe place to visit, but there is always someone trying to get around doing something the right way, no matter where you go. In this case, it is criminals impersonating Uber drivers, and tourists should be vigilant and watch out for these fake drivers when going from one place to the next in Cancun.
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