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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33101
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I have a situation and a question about my situation. Many

Customer Question

Hello, I have a situation and a question about my situation. Many start-up companies like Uber or Doordash or similar delivery-type apps have a system in place where "new" users are given $20 in "free" credit either to apply to their first ride or in the case of DoorDash, to their first meal (usually it's $5 with the delivery waived off as well). This becomes even more interesting once the incentive to "refer out" is looked at. For every person I refer-out and have sign-up at these companies using an email address, both me and and my "friend" receive $20 in free credits or food credit or whatever. In many cases, it becomes extremely easy to simply create multiple email addresses, and refer to one's self in a matter of minutes and land free credit after free credit in addition to many promo codes that apply only to "new" users, and because each new email I create is a "new user", both the "new user" and the main account receive credit and can thus either ride for free essentially or get food discounted or nearly free for an unlimited amount of time. Both of these practices are most likely against their terms of agreement. Can I be legally, civilly, or criminally prosecuted for fraud for "self-referring" to myself using multiple accounts?
Submitted: 12 months ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 12 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

You have to look at the "terms and services" of the website in question. Most websites, like you describe, require you to have one account per person. So using multiple accounts would violate the terms of service and could, in theory, be a basis for a lawsuit against you. And, again, in theory, if there were evidence you were violating the terms of service in order to obtain something of value? That could be prosecuted criminally as "fraud"

Now...would law enforcement be made aware of this...and if they were, would they prosecute?

That I can not answer.

But if the question is "is prosecution possible"?

What you are describing, assuming the terms of service limit you to one account if you commit fraud to gain something of value that is a crime and could be prosecuted.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.