A recent development in the UK is throwing the light of a possible fraud performed by a group of British Uber drivers conning Uber out of $15,000 from their app.
It seems that 19-year-old Onome Omonoseh opened a fake account with Uber using the information he stole from credit cards over the dark web and then used his new Uber identity to take long journey's using the app.
It was revealed in Wood Green Crown Court that Omone teamed up with some drivers and then, by using the fake identity, would enable the driver to make a lot of money from driving long distance trips. These fake rides cost Uber around $15,000and Omoneh made around $2,200 for his part of the deal, coordinating the scheme. The crown prosecution claims that the amount he received is not as large as they believe it could be.
The case involved five drivers; Michael Julien aged 50, Dan-Alexandru Pasat aged 29, Kamlesh Sagoo aged 62, Ibrahim Tekagac aged 35, and Mihai Toader aged 32. They are accused of taking at least 44 rides during February to December 2016.
Of the accused, Mihai Toader admitted to fraud and misrepresentation of Credit. Sagoo claimed that she was approached by Omonoseh, who was wearing an Uber sweatshirt, and suggested she should join a legitimate group of drivers working to increase their income. She claimed to be a victim of her naivety when not realizing that she was part of the fraudulent activity.
It seems that the credit card details were bought over the dark web on a site that sold the information. The requests were made by a cell phone using the Uber app, and the phone GPS was not in the cars during their trips which proved that the drivers were working in collaboration with Omonoseh. Although, Omonoseh claimed in court that he did not have the necessary skills or the "wherewithal" to set up and organize the scam, and claimed that a group of men in Islington were behind the sting.
Judge Peter Ader stated during his sentencing that the fraud was probably around $15,000 and the prosecution claimed that such an extensive sting took some clever planning to prepare. In many cases, there was no passenger, just the driver making the ride to claim the income. The prosecution continued to state that the outcome was abuse of Uber's trust in its driver and Omonseh led the abusive role since without his coordination the scam would not have been possible
Prosecuting counsel Stephen Requena added that the evidence presented to the court showed that Omonseh was the main instigator of the sting operation against Uber, he created a number of fake Uber accounts and requesting fake rides with the drivers, for which they passed on a percentage of their income to Omonseh for organizing and coordinating the efforts.
The Judge sentenced Dan-Alexandru Pasat with a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Julien, of Southwark, south London, received a sentence of jail for eight months. Pasat, of Ilford, Essex, was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Sagoo, of Neasden, north west London, was given a four-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Tekagac, of Enfield, north London, was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Toader, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months.
Omonoseh, of Islington, north London, was sentenced to an eight months term in a Young Offenders' Institution.
All six of the defendants admitted fraud by false representation.