LAPD Warns of Thieves Using New Digital Method to Steal Earnings From Uber, Lyft Drivers

A driver with the Lyft decal on his vehicle cruises Hollywood on Feb. 21, 2019. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images)

A driver with the Lyft decal on his vehicle cruises Hollywood on Feb. 21, 2019. (Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images)

Detectives are warning ride-hailing drivers of a new scheme thieves across Los Angeles are using to steal money from their bank and app accounts.

The investigation is centered in the Hollywood area, but similar incidents have been identified across the city, L.A. police said in a news release.

The thieves request a ride through the app. When they get in the vehicle, they trick the driver into handing over their cellphone, usually under the guise of changing their destination.

They then access the drivers’ account on the Lyft or Uber app, manipulate the settings and transfer any stored cash into their own bank account. Sometimes they’re also able to access banking apps and withdraw money from those accounts, officials said.

LAPD says it’s fielded numerous such crime reports in the past six weeks.

Detectives in Hollywood are working to get identifying information from app companies on the people requesting the rides.

Anyone with information in the investigation can contact LAPD Detective Patrick Aluotto at 213-972-2929, or call the department at 877-527-3247 after normal business hours. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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