Warning issued over fake Lyft driver in Derry Township

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Police are investigating reports of a white Jeep Grand Cherokee impersonating Lyft rideshares and trying to pick up passengers in Derry Township.

Police say a Lyft driver reported receiving a call for a fare in the 100 block of West Chocolate Avenue through the Lyft app, early Sunday morning.

The driver told police when he arrived in the area, looking for his fare, he saw a white Jeep stopped on the north side of West Chocolate Avenue near Primanti Bros. He said the driver of the Jeep made an abrupt U-turn in front of the Lyft driver and stopped on the south side of West Chocolate Avenue, pulling up to a woman who was half of the Lyft driver's fare.

The Lyft driver said he overheard the driver of the Jeep telling the woman he was the ride she requested and he even gave her some information about the Lyft rideshare that was requested. There was also a man with the woman, and he did not recognize the white Jeep Cherokee as the vehicle that was supposed to pick them up and he pulled the woman away from it.

Then they both saw their actual Lyft ride and got in the correct vehicle.

"This is the first one that we've really encountered where the person might be posing as an imposter on the Lyft program," said Chief Garth Warner with Derry Township police.

The Lyft driver also told police his male passenger said he had heard from other rideshare users in the area about this white Jeep Cherokee being involved in other similar incidents.

"We have been told by the actual Lyft driver that there were other customers who reported seeing this white Jeep Grand Cherokee trying to pick up fares," Warner said.

Derry Township Police are asking to speak with any Lyft rideshare fares that almost took the ride the driver of the white Jeep Cherokee was offering.

Police are also attempting to identify the driver of the Jeep.

Police say they encourage those using rideshares to use some of the safety tips recommended by companies like Lyft and Uber.

  • Make sure the vehicle and driver described in your rideshare app match the vehicle and driver that are there to pick you up before you get in the car.
  • When possible, share your Lyft or Uber ride with another person so you are not alone.
  • Check the driver's rating within the app and stay away from those who receive low ratings.
  • Do not drink to the point of intoxication as it will affect your judgment and ability to ensure your safety.

There are many other safety tips for using rideshare programs and they can be found on Lyft and Uber's websites as well as other rideshare safety sites.

Lyft released this statement:

"The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft.  Based on the information available, we can confirm that the vehicle described was not driving on the Lyft platform. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in any way we can."

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