DENVER (KDVR) — Teresa Grasmick started driving for Lyft in July to save a little money for an upcoming vacation. The last thing she thought when she signed up for the job is that she’d become the victim of a scam.
“They could have told me anything to get my adrenaline going to get me to give them that information,” Grasmick said.
Back on July 21, she said she had just dropped off a passenger at Denver International Airport and got a ping that another rider requested a ride leaving the airport. But she said when she made it to the pickup point, they never showed up.
“Then I got a text message from a specific number asking me to call them saying they were Lyft,” Grasmick said.
Grasmick said she called the number that she believed was Lyft.
“They told me they got a report that I was smelling of alcohol or my vehicle was smelling of alcohol and they were going to disable my app while they verified some information on my account,” Grasmick said.
Grasmick, flustered over the report, complied with the person on the other line. She said she gave them her driver’s license number, cell phone number and birthday to verify who she was.
“After speaking to me they verified I wasn’t drunk and the last step they needed to get me back online was a verification code that was sent to my cell phone,” Grasmick said.
She said she passed along the code and then restarted the app under the impression she would be able to pick up riders again.
“Then when I turned the app back on I got this notification that I had paid myself via a debit transaction that wasn’t on my account,” Grasmick said.
An email sent to Grasmick from Lyft showed that all of her earnings, $437.22, were cashed out.
“Being flustered and anxious and upset that someone reported me drunk I complied with whatever they told me to do,” Grasmick said.
She said the scammers were able to put a new debit card onto her account, take all the money and keep the card on the account so any further ride earnings would go to them.
“I can still drive but whoever has their debit card attached to my account can take the money anytime and there is nothing I can do about it,” Grasmick said.
She said she has stopped driving for Lyft and reached out several times for help but she said nothing has changed with her account. So she said she decided to reach out to the Problem Solvers.
“When someone reports you that you were driving and drinking at 6 a.m. it’s a little jarring,” Grasmick said.
The Problem Solvers reached out to Lyft Wednesday afternoon prior to meeting with Grasmick for our interview. About an hour following our interview, Grasmick received an email from Lyft that the whole amount would be paid back to her and all devices using her account would be logged out.
“Wow I’m so grateful,” Grasmick said. “Thank you!”
Lyft included in that email to Grasmick:
“No one from Lyft will ever call or text to offer Lyft incentives, to ask for login verification codes, driver’s license information, your social security number, to request you to cancel a ride, nor to update your driver payout information. If you get a call, text, or a Ride chat message from a passenger/driver soliciting this information, the best thing to do is not respond. While we may sometimes need to confirm your driver’s license number, this information will always be submitted to us via the Lyft app, Lyft website, or to a verified @lyftmail.com email address. We will not ask you to provide this over the phone nor during a ride chat.”Petunia, Lyft Support
After the ordeal, Grasmick is warning other drivers to be aware of this scam and not to let it happen to them.