FOX13 investigates if your data is safe using ride-sharing accounts

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Longwood woman never thought her Uber account could be stolen, then used by strangers anywhere in the world.

But her account was hacked after she asked the company to close it.

So how can you protect your ride-sharing account?

Gillian Hatcher got the first alert that someone hacked her Uber account.

“I was freaked out. I was totally alarmed,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher called Uber’s emergency number and told the company to close her account. Instead, that night she was charged for 3 rides, all in Lake Havasu Arizona which was 23 hundred miles away.

So, she called Uber again.

“This is a fraudulent ride. This is not me,” Hatcher told Uber.

Her Uber account was linked to her debit card so, that night $254 disappeared from her account.

Feeling betrayed she called FOX13 Investigates.

The giant ride sharing company has a history of problems with how it handles consumer’s information.

Two years ago Washington state accused Uber of failing to report a massive data breach. An FTC consent agreement found it failed to closely monitor access to consumer and driver data.

Then it’s rated F at the BBB.

IT security experts said most times scammers hack into accounts by tricking you into sharing passwords.

“Just keep in mind Uber will never ask for information will not ask for personal information. Nobody is going to call you from Uber or Lyft,” said Tommy Ordnorf from Bayshore Interactive.

A week after Gillian first contacted us, Uber gave her a full refund for the ghost riders.

Uber told Action 9 there was no data breach, and her Uber account information is encrypted to protect privacy.

“You never expected this. No No Not in a million years,” Hatcher said.

Security experts suggest you use unique passwords for every online account and advise. Experts also suggest not using your debit cards with these accounts.