HOUSTON (FOX 26) - 21-year-old University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was simply trying to get home after a night of partying with friends.
Investigators say she got into the wrong car. She thought it was her Uber ride, and she was never seen alive again.
Police have charged 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland in the case. Josephson's death has sparked a Change.org campaign on social media. They're asking Uber and Lyft to help riders to properly identify legitimate drivers with a QR code that riders can scan on the windows of cars.
So far, more than 190,000 people have signed the online petition.
Regardless of calls for action, countless riders still use the service daily. What can they do to make sure they're protected from harm?
"Make sure you're not just standing outside. Stay inside, you will get a notice on your app," says Andy Kahn, victim advocate and and Crime Stoppers representative. "When you go out there, ask the driver, 'What's my name?' Make sure everything matches up."
Kahn also urgers rideshare users to keep in touch with friends, and when possible, stick together. Don't take a ride alone if it can be helped.
The online campaign may very well gain traction, because incidents like this aren't as uncommon as one might think. There's been dozens of cases of drivers pretending to work for Uber and Lyft, and going on to assault or rob their "customers".
"These companies owe it to the public and their customers, to do whatever they can to ensure their drivers and riders have a safe way home," said Kahn.