The rideshare company is now being investigated after it failed to detect falsified driver documentation.
Transportation for London (TFL) has now launched an insurance fraud investigation into Uber, the app based ride share company, after a person successfully used falsified proof of coverage documents in order to become a driver.
A whistle blower determined that it was possible to Photoshop insurance cards and pass Uber’s screening.
The whistle blower remains unnamed but was already a driver for Uber. The insurance fraud test occurred when that person uploaded fake documents from an insurer called Freecover. Despite the fact that the insurance company does not actually exist, the computerized system at Uber accepted the proof of coverage, providing the driver with the authorization required to continue to use the app in order to pick up customers and drive them to their destinations for money.
Even though the insurance fraud was not conducted in a subtle way, the automated Uber system didn’t catch it.
The system at Uber has been designed to allow potential and existing Uber drivers to update their Ministry of Transportation (MOT), driver’s license, and proof of insurance documents online.
Since the whistle blower submitted its accusations, Uber has now posted a statement on its website that has indeed confirmed that “The fraudulent document has been incorrectly approved.” It also pointed out that it has decreased the number of insurance companies that its system will automatically approve in the United Kingdom. It explained that this move was done “to improve our systems…this will help prevent fraud.”
That said, many of the Uber drivers have expressed frustration with the change as it could potentially make it more challenging for drivers who have legitimate auto insurance to be able to receive the approval that they need to continue driving paying customers.
Still, others feel that it is worthwhile to keep drivers who are willing to commit insurance fraud from being able to earn through the company by exploiting that loophole. Those who are legitimately paying for their auto coverage are paying up to £4,000 per year for their policies and think that those who aren’t willing to do the same should be weeded out.