People are making videos that mimic phone calls on TikTok to increase rider safety for when they get into an Uber or Lyft . The purpose of these videos is to help people, particularly women, feel safe in an Uber if they have to ride alone. These videos are brilliantly crafted, and are often timed perfectly to sound as if the user is on speakerphone with their friend or a family member.
Uber passengers over the last couple of years have questioned whether the app is safe for riders. A report published in 2019 by Uber revealed that as many as 3,045 sexual assaults were reported in that year alone. Keep in mind, that’s only the reported cases that the company was made aware of. The trend is disturbing but clear, with the rise in app use, there is a corresponding rise in kidnapping and sexual assault cases.
It is old news by now, but rideshare apps can be dangerous for individuals especially after a night of drinking. There are countless stories of passengers suffering sexual assault and kidnapping at the hands of their drivers. While companies such as Uber and Lyft have begun to implement better safety programs to make sure that their passengers feel comfortable using their apps in the future, their background check protocol is still woefully behind the curve and cases continue to pop up.
As a safety measure to protect against such crimes, TikTok users have started making videos that mimic the other end of a phone call for users to play when they get into an Uber or Lyft. A quick search on TikTok for “Uber safety” turns up dozens of results of fake phone calls that you can play when you get into your next Uber or Lyft. The clips include a range of conversations from, “yeah I just got your location” to “did you hear about the guy that got kidnapped in an Uber? Yeah my dad is a cop and he told me about it.”
TikTok users have reported that the trend seems to be working. To make the ruse all the more convincing, some videos give instructions to the viewer on what to do or say in between the audio clips to make the fake phone calls appear genuine. The videos have received millions of views after going viral earlier in the year.