Breaking News

Coronavirus: 105,426 total cases, 3,755 deaths reported in Ohio


How do you know it’s really your Uber or Lyft driver?

Investigators say a South Carolina college student likely was waiting on an Uber when she got into the wrong vehicle — a mistake that cost her her life.

RELATED: Man charged with murder after University of South Carolina student mistakes his vehicle for Uber

Uber and Lyft use cellphone apps to quickly schedule rides.

If you are in a hurry, or very trusting, it could be easy to overlook key details that will help keep you safe.

People in the Miami Valley are reeling over the case of a USC student who was killed after getting into a car she likely mistook for an Uber.

“I never would have thought that someone would try to disguise themselves as an Uber and carry someone off in that situation. That’s really scary,” said Devon Stinson of Centerville.

“It’s horrifying,” Karen Berry of Centerville said. “I fee so bad for her family. It’s awful.”

Both women said they use ride services and aim to stay safe.

>> More than 20 people share complaints about a Miami Valley wedding photographer

Uber representatives declined an interview but did send a video. It shows how to use the app to verify the driver’s identity with their photo, the car make and model, and the license plate.

Lyft representatives couldn’t be reached, but their app also offers driver, vehicle and license plate information.

Kettering police Lt. Lee Sanders offers tips to help stay safe, including making contact with the driver and confirming their information. He also recommends taking a picture of the driver and their license plate, and sending it to someone you know.

>> Recalls: Children’s plates, laptop batteries, heated socks and more

“That’s not offensive to a ride service driver, and it might be an extra layer of caution for you,” Sanders said.

And, the lieutenant said, “when it comes to your personal safety be rude if you need to. Safety trumps everything.’

Got a news tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to