You’re in the middle of a busy street outside the bar and an unmarked sedan pulls over near you. Is it the Uber you just ordered, or is it a strange man looking for a vulnerable woman to get into his car take away forever? Unlike yellow cabs, an Uber can blend in with the kind of cars that your kidnapper has been driving for years. How will you know if that car will take you to your desired destination and not to a remote cabin 400 miles upstate? Ask yourself these questions before hopping in:
Did You Hail An Uber?
First, check to see if you have the Uber app downloaded to your phone. Do you have an account? Did you order a car to pick you up at your current location? If you did none of these things, it is probably your kidnapper waiting to pull you inside. You may want to avoid this.
Does He Look Surprised to See You?
Generally speaking, Uber drivers are not any more or less excited to see that you have opened their car’s rear door. Is there a subtle look of bored friendliness on his face? An Uber driver would do that. Did he mutter, “Finally,” under his breath? An Uber driver wouldn’t do that. You might want to ask for his credentials either way.
Are There Other Passengers in his Trunk?
Before you enter the vehicle, take a moment to knock politely on the trunk of the vehicle. Is there anyone in there that seems like they don’t want to be? This man may be a kidnapper, or, best case scenario, a very bad Uber driver. Best to wait for a taxi.
Is There an Uber Sign on the Window?
If not, it’s highly likely that it is not an Uber and is in fact your kidnapper. If there is a sign but it’s scrawled by a troubled hand, it could also be your kidnapper.
Did he offer you mints?
This could be because you ordered a luxury Uber, or because he likes to offer young women candy in order to lure them into his vehicle. This one a toss-up – flip an actual coin. Heads, Uber. Tails, kidnapper. A good driver will understand.
Did the Driver Call and Say, “I Am Here. I Can See You”?
If he didn’t, do not get in that car.
What if it’s a Prius?
You can’t trust everybody just because they drive a Prius. Don’t get in that car.
If you stand outside long enough, someone will eventually be willing to take you somewhere. Just make sure it is the person who will take you to midtown and not just over the Canadian border where he will make you change your name and hair color and you will never be found again. Good luck. And remember – have fun!