‘Wake-Up Call:’ Student’s Murder Shines Spotlight on Ride-Sharing Safety

SACRAMENTO -- Surveillance video captured the final moments Samantha Josephson was seen alive after a night out with friends.

The University of South Carolina student stood alone on a curb and entered what she thought was her Uber.

Police say it wasn't the car she ordered and she was murdered.

College students in Sacramento were shaken after learning of her death.

Andrea Allen told FOX40 she's a frequent user of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

"I've never really paid much attention to who I'm getting in the car with, so this is definitely a wake-up call," she said.

Allen and other students admitted they don't always check the car they get into to make sure it's actually their ride.

"Before I've never verified. Now that I'm thinking about it, every time I've used Uber I just get in when the car pulls up, you know?" said student Joe Maniscalco.

"The car has the Uber sticker on it and I get in," said student Dalton Heggi.

The students are now using the tragedy in South Carolina as a lesson to be cautious when using ride-sharing apps.

"Take a few looks. Check twice. License plate, type of car, what color it is," Heggi said.

A spokesperson for Uber told FOX40 riders should always use the app to verify both the driver and the car before getting in. Riders should also check the vehicle's license plate, make and model and compare the picture to the person behind the wheel.

The company also urges passengers to wait for their car in a safe place.

They also say to follow your intuition, trust your instincts and if you feel you're in danger, call 911.

"You just have to kind of remember your surroundings and remember that not everybody's a good person," Heggi said.

Josephson's suspected killer is now behind bars after her body was found in a field -- a life cut short after a mistake turned deadly.

"You don't know who you're getting into a car with," Allen said.

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