Racist insult from Uber driver filmed; How to Spot NFT Scams: CBC Marketplace Cheat Sheet

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Uber driver’s racist slur caught on video after passengers refuse to end trip early

It was supposed to be a fun night out, but the Uber ride to get there turned sour when the driver hurled a racial slur at Helin Turk’s friend, who is black – calling him the N-word.

“I was shocked,” the University of Toronto student told Go Public. “I was like, ‘How can you even say that? Then he told me to shut up when I was defending my friend.”

Turk, 22, complained and sent the video to Uber, then repeatedly followed up – asking what the company was doing about it and if the driver was still with the transport company.

But instead of answers, she was charged $282 to her credit card for alleged damage to the driver’s car.

“It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “I did not damage a [side] mirror, and it’s ridiculous to accuse me out of the blue like that two weeks later.”

WATCH | Racial slur followed by a $282 bill: (Warning: the video contains the N-word)

Insulted by a driver, then charged by Uber | Go in public

A Toronto woman is filing a complaint with Uber after one of its drivers was filmed uttering a racial slur. But instead of telling the driver what he did, Uber charged her hundreds of dollars for damage she says she didn’t cause. (Warning: the video contains an N-word) 2:28

This isn’t the first time Uber riders have complained about racism, either.

In 2016, a Toronto woman said an Uber driver assaulted her and was racist when he told her Pakistani Muslim women should “shut up”.

Then in 2020, still in Toronto, a black passenger said she was dubbed the N-word by an Uber driver and called on the company to do more to address anti-black racism.

On its website, Uber has a detailed zero-tolerance policy on racism and discrimination. He says customer service agents receive special training on handling cases like this. It also says it has simplified its reporting system.

But it wasn’t until Go Public contacted Uber directly that Turk started getting answers from the company.

Uber told Go Public that it “does not tolerate any form of racism” and that the driver was suspended from the app as soon as he heard about the incident, saying he then completed an investigation ” after a review of the full, unedited version of the video by our expert security team.”

When asked why Uber charged Turk for the damage caused by the mirror, the company did not respond, but agreed to reimburse the $282 charge after Go Public contacted it.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the driver has been permanently suspended from the ride-sharing service. Read more

Interested in exploring the world of NFTs? Beware of these scams first

An NFT is a digital asset, usually a work of art, secured via blockchain, the same technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Ownership of an NFT is meant to be indisputable, as the blockchain acts as a digital ledger that records and verifies every sale and purchase. Yet despite being encrypted, NFTs aren’t completely secure, and 2022 has already seen its share of high-profile heists.

The price of an NFT is largely determined by investor sentiment – many are considered worthless, but some have reached huge prices, such as Everydays – The First 5000 Days, by artist Beeple, which sold for more than US$69 million in March 2021.

An illustration photo taken in London in December 2021 shows a PsychoKitty NFT created by artist Ugonzo displayed on a phone. The NFT space is full of scammers, who use various methods to scam investors. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

But with sales reaching around US$17.6 billion in 2021, there has been no shortage of people and businesses looking to capitalize on NFTs – and scammers are no exception.

Experts say that many of the outright frauds in the NFT industry fall into one of the following categories.

1) Carpet zippers: A scam where a fraudulent NFT project is promoted, usually via paid advertising and social media, which promises incredible returns for investors. Once the hype reaches fever pitch and the investors’ money pours in, the scammers delete all social media accounts and abandon the project.

2) Fakes and counterfeits: As with real physical art, fakes are prevalent in the digital art space. But while good counterfeit artwork can be expensive and difficult to produce, counterfeit NFTs can be created with the click of a button. Plagiarists patrol Instagram and Twitter looking for digital art creators, and once they find a popular piece, copy it and list it on NFT marketplaces.

3) Pump-and-dumps: A basic stock market scam, pump and dump schemes are also big in the crypto space. The premise is simple: a scammer buys an often obscure crypto token or NFT collection and beats it to raise the price, after which he sells his stake, leaving other investors to hold the bag when the price drops.

Maria Paula Fernandez, co-founder of JPG Protocol, an organization dedicated to conserving the NFT space, believes that crypto scams are inevitable due to the high volume of projects posted daily.

“The rule of thumb is if something looks too good, you should probably stay out,” she said.

But despite the risks, she thinks NFTs can be worthwhile investments. Read more

How this bogus BC taxi operation is scamming good Samaritans out of their hard-earned cash

A new scam in British Columbia takes advantage of the good of others.

Mindy Zimmering was walking to a dollar store in Richmond, British Columbia, when she decided to help a young man who approached her in the parking lot and told her he didn’t have enough to pay for a taxi.

But her good deed resulted in almost $7,000 in fraudulent charges to her debit card, making her one of the few victims of an elaborate scam going on in town.

Richmond police say there have been at least eight reports since April 22 of a man approaching people in busy parking lots asking for help with a taxi fare.

Richmond, British Columbia RCMP are warning people to be on the lookout for a white Toyota Camry with a white taxi sign on the roof which they believe is part of a fraudulent operation. (Watch Media House/Shutterstock)

After the victim agrees to help him, a bogus taxi arrives and the driver, who is involved in the scam, says he can only accept debit cards and the tap function does not work on his machine . He then takes the card and pretends to make a transaction, asks the victim to enter his PIN, then hands him another card.

Zimmering said she was returned a debit card that looked exactly like hers and she didn’t think anything was wrong.

She only learned of the fraudulent charges when her bank contacted her. By then, five illegal transactions totaling approximately $6,900 had been made, including the withdrawal of $2,500 in cash. Read more

What else is going on?

Demand reaches new heights at local food banks
Ottawa-Gatineau food banks say they are facing unprecedented demand as prices continue to rise.

Montreal’s recycling program is in a sorry state, but there are solutions
Experts say a broader drop-off system would ease the burden, but reducing waste would be even better.

Confectionery products recalled due to possible salmonella contamination
Products include chocolate, candies and gum.

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