Square Is Being Abused By New York Pedicabs Who Scam Tourists With $600 Rides

Pedicab drivers in New York City are using mobile payments service Square to scam passengers, The New York Post reports.

They are reportedly adding on extra fees through the app, but not telling customers. Passengers only discover they’ve been ripped off once they look at their account statement much later.

Square’s credit card readers invite fraud because it lets people charge anything they want, NYC Pedicab Owners Association President Laramie Flick told The Post.

Just last month, a driver charged a couple of tourists $720 for a 20-minute ride from midtown to Greenwich Village using Square.

But to Square’s defence, it has been pretty aggressive about fighting fraud. It has previously shut down accounts that attempt to engage in fraud, a Square spokesperson told The Post.

These scams are not necessarily new, it’s just that Square has inadvertently become a great tool for them.

Last summer, one Texas family had paid more than $400 for a 14-block ride. 

But a new law went into effect earlier this month to curb outrageous pedicab fares. It requires things like properly displaying rates and restricts charging extra fees and enforcing per-passenger pricing. 

Before the new law went into effect, pedicab drivers were allowed to charge by block and per passenger.

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