Man stranded after person poses as Lyft driver

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man discovered the potential dangers of ride-sharing programs after he was left stranded in Lakeland.

Dustin Smith called a Lyft like he had so many nights before.The vehicle pulled up and he was on his way.

Quickly, Smith realized something did not feel right.

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The person behind the wheel didn’t match the person the app said was picking him up. Smith immediately started question why she had picked him up.

"They said get the 'F' out and started cussing me," Smith said.

He was kicked out at a Krystal's in Lakeland, and called SCSO. They were able to give him a ride home, but did not give a report.

FOX13 talked to SCSO's Public Information Officer who said that no crime was committed.

Smith and FOX13's Josh Tucker called Lyft to find out what they are doing to keep drivers safe, and stop this situation from happening.

Lyft said there is not much that can be done, and it is on the passenger to stay alert. They did give some pointers to stop it from happening for it.

Before getting in the car double check:

  • The license plate
  • The make and color of the car
  • The photo of the driver

The company released the following statement:

The safety of our community is our top priority. Since day one, we have worked hard to design policies and features that protect both drivers and passengers. Specifically to the question about identifying your ride, Lyft provides in-app photos of the driver and vehicle. Additionally, Lyft has just launched a new device called the amp, which sits on the drivers dashboard and lights up to signal to passengers that their ride has arrived. The color of the amp device corresponds with the color the passenger sees in their app. You can find out more about amp here. Amp is currently being rolled out to markets across the U.S.

In addition to those safety features, Lyft also has a Trust & Safety team available 24/7 for emergencies and a dedicated Critical Response Line to reach specially trained experts on the phone. In any safety-related incident, we encourage Lyft users to contact us so we can investigate further and take appropriate action.