Pasadena Uber driver learns someone stole his ID, posed as him on rideshare app for 6 months

Alex Bozarjian Image
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Identity theft: Pasadena Uber driver raises concerns about ridershare app's vetting process
The victim said he was trying to make money and get off his friend's couch when he made an account to be an Uber driver. It was then he learned someone had been posing as him for nearly six months.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A Pasadena man is raising safety concerns after he says someone used his license to become an Uber driver.

The man says he made the discovery only after trying to become an Uber driver himself.

You can easily access Uber's step-by-step vetting process online.

It includes a warning that assuming someone else's identity is not allowed.

Michael Guzman, the victim of the stolen identity, said to ABC13 that a person passing as him and picking up passengers for nearly six months.

"It's frustrating," Guzman said.

This is somewhat of a helpless situation for Guzman who has a disability.

He says two months ago he created an Uber account hoping to make enough money to get off his friend's couch, but he discovered his account was locked on Oct. 2. Upon finding that out, Guzman said he contacted Uber support.

"I spent most of the day Monday dealing with them and nobody could tell me nothing other than they made a duplicate account and I was like, 'OK, well I've only had this account,'" Guzman said.

The Uber support representative told him an account had already been made in his name with his ID.

The only discrepancy is the ID picture, but didn't match, according to the phone call Guzman had with Uber's fraud department.

"He told me like 'I can tell just by looking at the ID that's not you, man. Because he said the guy looked like he was 21 or 22 . He's young, and I am 51," Guzman said.

It also raises concerns for passengers who have no idea who they're getting in the car with and how safe Uber's vetting process is.

Earlier this year, one lawsuit filed in Tampa, Florida alleges a woman was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver, who had a criminal past.

A Florida businessman also filed a lawsuit in Tampa alleging that an Uber driver stole his identity, just like in Guzman's case.

"Uber, I don't know how they let things slide like this. If the guy sitting behind the compute saw that this was not right, why did it take so long for this company to figure it out?" Guzman said.

Eyewitness News did reach out to Uber for a comment, but they didn't immediately respond to our request.

Their website does, however, state drivers are periodically asked to take a picture of themselves, which they cross-reference with the ID on file.

They also say new drivers are screened through motor vehicle records and criminal history.

Guzman told ABC13 he's still locked out of his account. He's since filed an identity theft report with Uber and sent them pictures of him with his ID for cross reference.

They told Guzman via the app that they are working to restore his account.