In the bustling lanes of Bengaluru, a city renowned for its vibrant tech industry and dynamic culture, an unsettling scam has emerged, casting a shadow over the convenience of modern ride-hailing services.
In a concerning series of events at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport, a cab driver has been exploiting passengers by presenting a counterfeit fare screenshot, leading to charges up to five times the actual fare, Moneycontrol reported.
The scam, which has been ongoing for months, specifically targeted passengers at the airport's designated Ola/Uber pick-up zones.
Victims, including techies, students, and aviation workers, reported being approached by the same driver who failed to initiate trips on his app. Instead, at journey's end, he would display a fake screenshot showing an inflated fare of Rs 5,194, while the passengers' apps indicated either no trip or a cancelled ride.
This discrepancy left many passengers confused and coerced into paying the exorbitant amounts demanded. The scam exploits a loophole in the airport's pick-up system, where passengers do not get assigned specific drivers through the app, making it easier for fraudulent activities to go unnoticed. The lack of immediate customer support from cab aggregators at the airport exacerbates the issue, leaving passengers with little recourse.
Despite the scam affecting several individuals from June 2023 to January 2024, formal police complaints have been scarce.
However, one victim's social media outcry led to the driver's brief detention and subsequent release with a warning, after he admitted to the fraud and returned the overcharged fare. Victims shared their harrowing experiences, highlighting the driver's aggressive behavior and their own helplessness in the situation.
One techie, Krishna Kant Verma, recounted how he was forced to pay the inflated fare despite his app showing a much lower estimate. Another victim, Yash Nannaware, managed to document his encounter, aiding in the driver's identification by the police.
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