A Chicago woman rented out her car on a sharing service. Someone stole and totaled it
CHICAGO (CBS) – The gig economy offers lots of opportunities to make an extra buck.
That includes renting out your wheels with car sharing services like Getaround. But before you start counting dollar signs in your head, check out this cautionary tale from Morning Insider Lauren Victory.
Becky Barron doesn't know who he is, but believes a man caught on surveillance video drove away from her West Loop garage with her car. It wasn't exactly unexpected.
"I wanted to be able to supplement my income a little bit," Barron said. "It was to make some money on the side."
Barron had listed her white Nissan Rouge for rent through Getaround, the car sharing service. Someone reserved and picked up the car in the middle of the night last fall.
"I called Getaround multiple times," she said. "And they kept telling me everything was fine. This person had checked out. Give them the benefit of the doubt."
"Checked out" as in passed Getaround's rental requirements. The booker's license was verified, he had no red flags on his driving record, and facial recognition technology matched his selfie with his ID.
"Getaround's processes are clearly not working," Barron said because her car was almost three hours overdue when the company tracked the Rogue to Lincoln Park.
No, not the one in Chicago. It was in Lincoln Park, Michigan outside of Detroit.
"So they disabled the car remotely and told me that they were going to send a tow truck to retrieve the vehicle," Barron said.
That didn't work, neither did hiring a repo team. Then, someone removed Getaround's disabling device from the car.
"And it was gone and it couldn't be tracked anymore," she said.
That was until it turned up, totaled.
Barron's Rogue had gone rogue during an attempted traffic stop by Royal Oak police in Michigan.
"'The vehicle then rolled and landed on its roof,'" Barron said reading from police records.
Victory: "What do you say to people that will go, 'Well, Becky, didn't you know you were taking on some risk when you put your car on a platform like this?'"
Barron: "Yeah, absolutely. I acknowledge that."
She trusted the verification system, though now she has questions. The driver who was vetted was supposed to be 62 years old.
"You can tell just by the way this person moves, this is a young guy,"
Who was really getting around in her Getaround?
Barron also noticed the booker's license was expired but Getaround was able to confirm the person's license was active.
Getaround would not share the number of vehicles stolen through their platform, but higher ups are adamant that Barron's experience was not typical. The company paid off her lease and more.
She's trying to save up to buy a new car.
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