Fake Rideshare Driver Empties Victims’ Bank Accounts
According to authorities, a parolee, who has a long history of credit card scams and identity theft, pretending to be a rideshare driver cleaned out the bank accounts of at least four people after gaining access to their bank cards.
The police has accused Lance Baymon of going around bars and restaurants and withdrawing more than $24,000 cash from four victims’ accounts.
A judge ordered Baymon to be held on a $150,000 bail on multiple identity theft charges and continuing a criminal enterprise charges during a hearing.
The prosecutors said that Baymon is accused of identifying himself as the victim’s driver and asking for a debit card. In 3 of those incidents, Baymon allegedly swiped the card using a device attached to his phone and gave the riders an identical card without them noticing, said Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Gallagher. In one instance, he didn’t return the victim’s card at all.
In each case the victims received notices of unauthorized withdrawals from their bank account.
Surveillance video actually caught Bayom using an ATM to withdraw the victim’s cash.
Following this case, Chicago police warned people using ride-share programs to remain vigilant, saying riders are increasingly being targeted by criminals falsely posing as drivers.
For example just last year a string of robberies were tied to fake ride-share drivers who robbed their passengers at gunpoint.
A police spokesman said that “Opportunists capitalize on this and troll around bar and entertainment areas looking for easy victims. We are finding that individuals are leaving bars and entertainment venues and not paying attention to their surroundings. Also, people are on their phones and are distracted and they get into the wrong cars”.