Colorado DoorDash driver falls victim to ‘COVID-19 bonus check’ scam

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — Food delivery drivers are in high demand amid Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home order, but now there is a scam circulating targeting DoorDash drivers.

FOX31 talked to a man who just fell victim to the scam.

“I figured it’d be a great way to make some side cash,” Ian Schilhab said.

Like many of us, Schilhab is doing what he can to make money during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he signed up to be a driver for DoorDash. But on Sunday night, he got an unusual order request for one apple pie from McDonald’s.

“I looked at the name of the order and it said it was from a ‘Generated O.’ Generated being the first name and O as the last initial,” Schilhab said.

During the delivery, Schilhab got a call from a man claiming to be with DoorDash customer support. The man on the phone said Schilhab had a check coming his way.

“He said due to my good ratings, I qualified for this COVID-19 bonus check,” Schilhab said.

The caller asked Schilhab to verify his phone number, which he did. Similar to the Uber app, you can call the driver through the DoorDash app but you do not have their actual number. The caller then sent him a six-digit code and had Schilhab read it back. Shortly after that, Schilhab tried to complete his apple pie delivery and discovered the address did not exist.

“As I was arriving to the address, it wasn’t a house. It wasn’t an apartment building. It was just a parking lot,” Schilhab explained.

It turns out the “customer support” caller placed the apple pie order, and after paying $1.55 for the pie, he ended up getting away with much more. The scammer then used the money-transfer app, Zelle, to take $500 out of Schilhab’s account.

“It’s disgusting. Honestly, I’m really surprised people would stoop that low to take advantage of people,” Schilhab said.

“My sister works for a bank and what she explained to us — in order to send money or receive money by Zelle — you use an email address or phone number – that’s it,” Ian’s mother, Cecilia Schilhab said.

Cyber security expert Rahul Shivhare, owner of Complete Tech Support, says scams like this are on the rise right now.

“When you give that information out, your phone number — which is a very critical part of your banking or verifying your identity — you’re compromising them,” Shivhare said. “Once you get that six-digit code, they may or may not have information like the checking account or bank routing number, but they possibly have your ID – so now with that two-step verification, they got into the bank account and took complete control.”

Schilhab is working with his bank to try to get his money back but wants other drivers to be cautious.

“I just know what to avoid now,” Schilhab said.

A company spokesperson for DoorDash issued this statement:

“No one from DoorDash will ever request your password or security code, nor will anyone from DoorDash ever give you a specific password you should use. If you receive a request for your password, security code, or other account details do not share this information — even if the request appears to come from Support, or the person knows specific details about your order. To maintain the security of your account, it is critical that you keep your password confidential at all times.”

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