WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The man police say killed a 21-year-old college woman after she got into what she thought was an Uber, made his first appearance in court Monday. Nathaniel D. Rowland is the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Samantha Josephson, 21.
Josephson was a student at the University of South Carolina. Her body was found Friday.
In response, the university launched a “what’s my name?” campaign to try to prevent this from happening to someone else. Riders are directed to ask their driver what their name is to verify it’s their actual driver.
That news is taken seriously by three Palm Beach Atlantic students who are all 20-years-old.
“Shock because I think that so many things in the world are out to get you. Especially as a young woman, you are constantly thinking about safety,” said Margaret Homan, a nursing student.
“Especially a lot of college girls, it’s kind of our worst fears,” said Rachel Clinton, also a nursing student.
“I’ve definitely used Uber before, so thinking of that, how can I better protect myself?” said elementary education major Marina McKinney.
There’s built-in safety tools on the app. It shows your drivers picture and name, alongside the make and model with the license plate. Make sure it all matches.
“Share my ride, I love that feature because it sends a notification to someone else and I usually send it to my dad. He’s a big dude and I’m like hey this is what I’m doing,” Homan said.
The usual safety tips, no matter where you are, also apply.
“A lot of times too, I ride with a group of people,” Clinton said.
Don’t just give away your name. Ask the driver who they’re picking up.
“Make sure that they know who I am and where I’m going to go and converse that with them before I fully get in the car before it’s too late,” McKinney said.
Uber also recommends waiting for your ride inside, to avoid being outside alone. And a rider never needs to provide personal information to the driver.