Old Rideshare Scam Returns as New Delivery Scam

Have you ever picked up a delivery order and looked at the delivery address, only to get a ping from your customer that the actual address is miles away? They may say they “had the wrong address” or “moved” – and while that can be true, it’s more than likely a scam. RSG contributor Jeffrey Fike shares how you can identify this scam and, most importantly, be compensated for your extra driving!

Pre-pandemic, I was strictly a rideshare driver who might pick up deliveries every so often on UberEats. I mention this because an old customer-initiated scam has reared its ugly head in the delivery world.

Surely anyone who’s done delivery long enough has seen demanding customers, those who try to change their order, or claim the order was not delivered despite evidence to the contrary. This is neither of those unfortunately common occurrences.

The scam which we are discussing today involves fraudulent delivery addresses. This comes from the rideshare customer scam where Uber and Lyft riders would put in an address that made their upfront pricing lower and attempt to get the driver to pick them up somewhere else.

This scam usually happened in large cities, college towns, and near events, and it was a matter of blocks, but could be miles at times. The simplest solution for the driver was usually (not always) to wait at the address displayed on trip manifest, and collect a nice little $5.00 fee for 5 minutes wait time (now 7 minutes for Uber drivers!)

How does this new trick with deliveries relate to that old trick (which riders are still trying during busy times)? Quite simply, the customer enters an address that makes their delivery appear to be far shorter in distance and time than it actually is.

In effect, this scam not only rips off the delivery company but you, the delivery driver, taking money out of your pocket, and wasting time that could be better spent earning delivering legitimate orders.

What Does This New Delivery Scam Look Like?

Above is one variation on how this scam works.

The customer enters the delivery address as just the city. Google maps pins the delivery destination to the center or most populated area of that city.

The catch? The delivery could be going anywhere. The delivery app sends out a ping for delivery, which will be much shorter than the actual mileage.

In most cases, the driver will not find out the actual delivery address until they already have goods in hand. They drive to the designated point and find out through the instructions on the app, or phone/text that the delivery address is in reality quite distant.

Of course, with food or groceries already picked up, the driver is on the hook to complete the delivery.

Sounds pretty grim, right? But there is a silver lining. After completing this delivery (in this case, the address entered in instructions, and still incorrect), put in a help ticket or chat if available.

In most cases, the delivery company will compensate you for the difference, and hopefully remedy the situation for future drivers by suspending the account holder, or at the very least ensuring an accurate address.

For my delivery, the customer decided to enter a city and zip that was a full two zip codes away from where they really were, making it obvious what was going on. DoorDash Support acknowledged this and compensated me for the additional distance, essentially doubling my pay

It is important to note, that in this instance, the final address was (somewhat) in writing, within the app. If it’s not, best advice would be to contact the customer via text, and ask for the correct or complete address, and save that text for submission to delivery support.

Also, realize that GPS is usually 95% accurate, and the errors are usually minor. If a customer has entered a street name incorrectly – say 7th Street instead of 7th Ave, it’s most likely intentionally done to create a fraudulently shorter delivery distance, and/ or increase delivery time, as the driver will first end up at the address entered.

Have patience with support staff, and submit these requests as quickly as possible, utilize the chat or phone function if it is a non-peak period, but email contact works just as well, and you will get a response.

Other Delivery Driver Scams

Unfortunately, this is not the only delivery driver scam out there! Take a look at the video below to learn about more delivery scams: 5 Scams To Look Out For As A Delivery Driver In 2021 (Uber eats, Postmates, Doordash)


These scams include:

  • The picture scam (where customers lie about getting their food)
  • Closed restaurant scam (not usually anyone’s fault, but you can be compensated for these drives!)

Have you run into any delivery driver scams? What happened?

-Jeffrey @ RSG