Fake ride-hail service drivers are once again the focus of a community alert issued by cops in Chicago’s 18th (Near North) Police District, which includes nightlife districts such as River North, Rush/Division, State/Hubbard, and the “Viagra Triangle.”
It’s the third warning cops have issued this month about armed robbers who pose as Uber and Lyft drivers in the downtown area.
Safety tips for ride-hail app users were also issued by the district’s community policing office on Twitter Tuesday:
• Confirm the driver, color, make and model of the vehicle before entering the vehicle
• Let someone know where you are going by using the app’s “share my ETA”
• Never allow the driver to convince you to pay cash. Only pay via the app
• Never show or hand your credit card to a ride-hail driver. There is no need for them to have your card as payment is arranged via the app
• Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t get into the vehicle
• “Most importantly,” the tip list says, “drink and socialize responsibly”
According to the alert, a pair of offenders is picking victims up in nightlife areas and are then robbing the victims by force or at gunpoint. The robberies have all occurred during the early morning hours on Fridays, Saturday, and Sundays.
Victims have been robbed in the 700 block of North Larrabee; the 600 block of North Franklin; the 400 block of North Dearborn; and the 2100 block of North Dayton. Two victims were robbed in separate hold-ups in the first block of West Hubbard, police said.
The offenders are two black women between 20- and 30-years-old who stand 5’5” to 5’9” tall and weigh 120 to 150 pounds, according to the alert.